Students each day are impacted by access to healthy food

From Northern Ontario to the tips of Southern Ontario, students each day are impacted by student nutrition and by access to healthy food. We asked...

From Northern Ontario to the tips of Southern Ontario, students each day are impacted by student nutrition and by access to healthy food. We asked them to engage with us on Student Nutrition.

"Hunger Along side Anxiety." As I head onto my bus I can only think about one thing: how hungry I am. We barely had any groceries in the house, and I was going to be late so I could not take the time to even try and find something to eat. The usual distraction of bumpy roads and the sunlight shining in through the windows was no match for my loud, and gurgling stomach. I have a big test today in one of my toughest classes and I'm not even able to think straight. I began to get a headache, as I always do when I am very hungry, and all the what ifs come into my mind as we are heading closer to the school: What if my stomach continues to make loud noises for food during the quietness of the test? What if I faint or cannot think straight? As my anxiety begins to peak on me we arrive at the school. As I enter the doors I smell toast. And that’s when it clicked: We have a breakfast program here. My anxiety begins to dissipate once I am able to get some food in me, and my headache clears up. Without a proper nutrition program like this, I would not have been able to give my test the attention it needed as I would have been just thinking about my hunger and its consequences. School nutrition programs are important for people like me to succeed and give their best. -- Erin.

“I don’t eat breakfast,” The infamous line once muttered by so many people I know, myself included. I can assure you that coming to school every morning with a few seconds to spare before being late and on an empty stomach will deter any student from performing well throughout the day. I can also promise you that anyone who tried telling us breakfast-deficient kids otherwise would only cause another eye-roll. This is why I believe that Student Nutrition Programs are of great importance and can only provide benefits to a school’s student body. No matter what the programs bring to schools, whether it be breakfast service, informational sessions on nutrition, or even a poster promoting healthy development, people will notice and habits will be changed. Being someone who didn’t regularly eat breakfast, I find myself taking refuge in front of the vast assortment of breakfast foods that my school’s Breakfast Club offers now because when nutritious food is so accessible, nobody can turn it down. After the program came to our school, word travelled fast and before I knew it, the people who once subconsciously sought hunger were now loaded with bananas, cereal, milk, and an alertness in class that was once not there before. -- Ivy.

My stomach grumbles as I walk to school. It's not too bad, unlike yesterday when my science teacher was explaining the test. I couldn't focus on anything she said because I was so hungry. The test is last period. It's first break now and all of my friends are eating. I tell them that I had a large breakfast so they won't know there's no food at home. We're way behind on our rent, and dad often has to choose between buying food and having a place to stay. It's torture watching my pals wolf down their snacks. Like clockwork, my head starts pounding as lunch period begins. My friends often ask me why I don't eat lunch. I fear I will eventually run out of excuses. After lunch is the science test, but I'm starting to feel dizzy. Why isn't there a breakfast program here like there was at my old school? The day went so much better when I started off with a full stomach; I could actually concentrate on learning. There were also snack bins in every classroom. My grades were so much better then and I made every sports team. That's not going to happen here. -- Emma.


Our goal is to raise $850,000 during this two week campaign. Providing over 1.7 million health snacks and meals in schools across Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

100% of proceeds raised from #Toonies4Tummies remain in the community in which they’re donated.

Donate today!

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.