St. Ignatius Students Shoot for the Hoops and for The Sky

Kaelyn McCallum is an Agent of Change for the Toonies for Tummies campaign. There is no stopping her and her classmates from St. Ignatius High Sch...

Kaelyn McCallum is an Agent of Change for the Toonies for Tummies campaign. There is no stopping her and her classmates from St. Ignatius High School in Thunder Bay, from aiming high when it comes to supporting student nutrition.

If you listen to Kaelyn, she'll tell you about how she was unaware of the need in her own community and how she learned through her involvement as an Agent of Change about how many students are going without proper nutrition. She speaks very humbly about her involvement, but there's little doubt, it's big, really big.

With the support of her principal and fellow students, Kaelyn set out to raise $1,500 to benefit local student nutrition programs in the Thunder Bay region.

An athlete, Kaelyn was eager to get her idea of a basketball fundraiser off the ground that would support local student nutrition programs in the community, including one at her school.

During the Toonies for Tummies campaign, Kaelyn and her classmates, hosted and participated in a three-day basketball tournament designed to raise funds and to bring the Toonies for Tummies campaign to life at the school. An estimated 80 students from the school took part bringing the concept of active involvement in the cause to a new level. The entire school is also slated to take part in a dress down day which will see Toonies donated in exchange for a day out of uniform.

In addition to what's going on at her local school, Kaelyn's been talking to the local media to help build awareness around the impact of these programs: on grades and graduation rates.

It seems that her desire to rally the students of Thunder Bay is infectious. Similar inspiration has been found in local grocery stores participating in the campaign who have been eager to support her and the local student nutrition programs. At one participating Metro store donations are up, way up! While the tally of total funds raised during the campaign which began Feb 9 and ended Feb 23 is still underway, this one store was reporting over 4 times the donations from last year.

Kaelyn is one of 11 student Ambassadors supporting the Toonies for Tummies campaign. Right now 1.2 million students in the province are benefitting from these programs each day.

Kaelyn, her fellow students, school staff, and student nutrition partners, all have played a critical role toward helping ensure students in the community not only have the proper nutrition they need to shoot for the hoops, but to also perform at their best when it comes to school work. This teamwork and result is a perfect alley-oop if we've ever seen one.

Help Us Make Breakfast a Reality for a Hungry Child

Chasing dreams should be part of every child’s day. Going without breakfast shouldn’t be.


We are so grateful to Canadians who support Toonies for Tummies during our annual store campaign and, year-round, online.

You may know on April 16th, the Federal Government confirmed plans to support student nutrition programs. Specifically, the budget has announced the creation of a National School Food Program, which will provide $1 billion over five years to Employment and Social Development Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and Indigenous Services Canada, starting in 2024‑25.

You may wonder what does this government funding mean specific to the need and our efforts to fundraise?

Without a doubt, we continue to need your support. While many student nutrition program leaders are encouraged by the incremental government support, many have taken to the news and social media to confirm even with this support, funding gaps will persist.

The Grocery Foundation's Vision, that no Canadian child goes to school hungry, remains fully intact. Our work continues and remains vital to support hungry children through their school’s student nutrition program. There is no change whatsoever in our focus, our mission, or our reliance on your support.

The programs we help fund are universal in nature. That means all children who require a healthy meal have access. Those on the front lines of these programs affirm their positive impact and positive halo beyond the day’s nutrition, from attendance, behaviours to the school community and mental health. The programs you help fund also support foundational nutrition knowledge and social skill building, as many programs include mechanisms for student involvement in menu planning, food preparation and serving of food to peers.

Thank you for choosing to support hungry children in your community, nourishing their health, well-being, academic success while fostering their school community. With your continued support, we will continue to help dreams take flight and nourish over 3,000 programs and neighbourhoods, yours among them.