Helping others feels good. That is especially true when we help children.
Earlier this year, we invited you to take the #ToonieChallenge at one of the many grocery stores taking part in the 2019 Toonies for Tummies campaign. It was amazing to see store teams, including managers, cashiers, and customer service personnel, at stores in Western Canada and in Ontario take part. These teams also played a vital role in helping us highlight just how many children attend school hungry and invited you to donate a toonie during your visit to the store. To say your support was overwhelming would be an understatement!
This year, the Toonies for Tummies campaign raised a record $1.5M!!!!! This means over 750,000 healthy breakfasts and snacks will be making their way to local student nutrition programs. It also means that schools which have been waiting to establish a breakfast program, may now receive the critical funding they require to get up and running or an existing program that is funding insecure – yes you read that correctly, programs designed to feed children who are food insecure are often themselves funding insecure – can have greater stability when it comes to ensuring nutritious choices are available to children each school day. As communicated, donations will remain in the local community where they were made. It takes us a bit of time to coordinate this, so stay tuned for more news on that front.
If you’ve ever wondered how much your donation matters, consider this. Earlier this year, The Grocery Foundation shared news of a report published by the C.D Howe Institute. This report confirmed many positive effects associated with student nutrition programs from community-building among students to the attendance they promote. What’s more, “evidence suggests breakfast has benefits on children’s on-task behaviours in classrooms, and evidence that habitual breakfast consumption improves grades or test scores”. The report also states “food insecurity may be associated with higher adverse mental health outcomes ― both nutritional and psychological stress”. There is little doubt, you are making a difference for school-aged children right in your backyard.
Perhaps you will never go to a program. Perhaps you will never meet a child that is benefiting from your generosity. Regardless, by taking the #ToonieChallenge, by sharing our video and helping us spread the word, you’ve done something wonderful. We hope that makes you feel great. It should.