Behind the scenes at Goodfood is a team of big-hearted entrepreneurs. They have partnered with the Club since 2017, donating more than $153,000 to date. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For nearly three years, a group of Goodfood employees has been volunteering every week at a school in the Saint-Henri district of Montreal to prepare and serve breakfast.
Goodfood CEO Jonathan Ferrari was kind enough to answer some of our questions at one of these weekly volunteering gigs. Here is what he had to say.
Why is Breakfast Club of Canada a cause you feel strongly about?
In Canada alone, hundreds of thousands of children go to school every morning without breakfast. At Goodfood, we’re committed to the well-being of all Canadians, and this starts with food accessibility.
Early on, my fellow co-founders, Neil Cuggy and Raffi Krikorian, and I decided to partner with an organization that shared these values and gave back to the local community. Breakfast Club of Canada was a natural fit.
For every box purchased, Goodfood contributes to a nutritious meal to a child in need in a school located within a community we serve. A nutritious breakfast has a significant impact on a child’s ability to focus in class and gives them the fuel to achieve their dreams.
“We believe that every Canadian should have access to nutritious and tasty meals, which is why we personally volunteer at Breakfast Club of Canada and why we encourage our team to do the same.”
Why is it important for you to volunteer?
We believe that every Canadian should have access to nutritious and tasty meals, which is why we personally volunteer at Breakfast Club of Canada and why we encourage our team to do the same.
Volunteering gives us an opportunity to give back and connects us to a cause that is close to our hearts. It unites us in a common goal and a shared experience, fosters personal development and brings us together as a community.
“Volunteering with Breakfast Club of Canada is an incredible, transformative experience that I would recommend to anyone. From the relationships with the coordinator to the available activities to the balanced breakfast shared with peers, you can see the positive effect that the program has on the kids.”
What has really hit home for you over the past two years of volunteering with the Club?
Volunteering with Breakfast Club of Canada is an incredible, transformative experience that I would recommend to anyone. From the relationships with the coordinator to the available activities to the balanced breakfast shared with peers, you can see the positive effect that the program has on the kids.
There’s really nothing quite like seeing the smile on a child’s face when they grab a tray full of healthy cereal, fresh fruit and yogurt and go sit with their friends to have a good time before the school day begins.
“The volunteering program has been a resounding success and helped bring further awareness to the issue by connecting the Goodfood team to the cause.”
Why is it important for you to see your employees give back to a cause?
We’ve been rolling up our sleeves (myself and the other co-founders included) and helping out in the kitchen preparing and serving healthy breakfast options at local school breakfast programs for a few years now. We feel that it’s important to lead by example to encourage our team to get involved in this incredibly rewarding experience.
The volunteering program has been a resounding success and helped bring further awareness to the issue by connecting the Goodfood team to the cause.
What would you say to other companies who are thinking about getting involved with BCC?
Even the smallest action can have a positive impact on someone’s life. This year, take a bit of time out of your regular morning routine to spread some positivity and joy in the form of granola, yogurt and orange slices (or any of the other delicious options served up!).
We encourage you to get involved with Breakfast Club of Canada and make a difference in your local community — one balanced breakfast at a time.
Thank you, Goodfood, for giving back to children across Canada!
Canada-wide school closures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have turned children’s worlds upside down. The situation has also meant that 243,000 students no longer have access to their school breakfast program – not to mention the 1 million other young Canadians who live in food-insecure households and don’t have the benefit of a nutritious meal at school to get their morning off to a good start.
In response to this unprecedented crisis, we appealed to the generosity of our partners to help get healthy food to as many children across the country as possible through a specially created emergency fund.
One of the partners who has stepped up to the plate is Mitsubishi Motors Canada. They have graciously made three “community utility vehicles” available to schools and organizations in the BCC network to deliver food hampers to children and their families in Langley, B.C., Toronto, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec.
Our very own Josée Desjardins, Vice President, National Development and Federal Government Affairs, set out one April morning in Surrey in one off these new CUVs to pick up foodstuffs and gift cards from Save-On-Foods and bread from COBS Bread Bakery. The work we do at the Club is near and dear to the hearts of both of these valued partners.
Josée was delighted to drop off the donated goods to grateful staff members and volunteers, who then distributed them to hundreds of families in local school districts in Langley and Surrey.
Want a closer look at how the day unfolded? Click on the link below to watch the video!
On behalf of all the children on the receiving end of these acts of kindness, we thank Mitsubishi Motors Canada, Save-On-Foods, COBS Bread Bakery and all our other partners for their ongoing support during this challenging time.
At Breakfast Club of Canada, our priority in Quebec is to make sure that the more than 40,800 children and youth who rely on a school breakfast program get a healthy, balanced meal before classes start. So teaming up with the province’s apple growers, who take great pride in providing a delicious and locally produced source of nutrition, was a bit of a no-brainer!
We have been working closely with Pommes Qualité Québec, which represents Les Producteurs de pommes du Québec and the Association des emballeurs de pommes du Québec, to cater to these needs since 2002. This has translated to more than 250,000 apples served up every year.
Before the pandemic hit, volunteers would slice up apples in the morning, dipping them into a bowl of water and a hint of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. This year, however, an approach of this nature would clearly not be consistent with COVID-19 guidelines.
So we have worked with Pommes Qualité Québec to come up with another solution. After examining several options, we decided it would be best to distribute whole apples, only in smaller child-friendly sizes, to make them easier to handle and eat. As a result, more than 442,000 apples will be delivered to Quebec breakfast programs during the 2020–2021 school year in response to growing demand.
Our sincere thanks go out to our wonderful partners at Pommes Qualité Québec for this invaluable contribution, which will go a long way in helping children reach their full potential.
For more information about this “fruitful” initiative, we invite you to watch this video (only available in French), which follows the journey of an apple from the orchard to the hands of a group of eagerly awaiting kids!*
*Note that the video was made in 2018, well before the pandemic struck, which is why there are no physical distancing protocols in place.
Learn more about Pommes Qualité Québec here at www.lapommeduquebec.ca
Walmart Canada is a long-time partner of Breakfast Club of Canada. Since 2002, the company has been a major supporter of ours, helping us to provide a healthy breakfast to the greatest possible number of children across Canada.
From October 1 to 23, all Walmart stores across the country are inviting their associates and customers to participate in this year’s BCC fundraising campaign by donating at the checkout and Walmart.ca. To ensure they have the biggest impact possible, associates organize fun and unique activities to raise even more money and have a greater impact in their community.
A Lasting Partnership
This is the 18th annual campaign, and we are grateful to once again be able to count on the generosity of Walmart customers and the hard work of its staff. Last year, Walmart Canada reached a significant milestone, with more than $50 million raised in total over its 17-year partnership with BCC. The company is committed to building on this impressive accomplishment with this year’s fundraiser.
To thank Walmart Canada, its customers and its associates, we have prepared a special video looking back at our 17 years of partnership.
As you shop at Walmart during the campaign, please consider making a donation – big or small – to the Club. Every dollar makes a difference in helping kids thrive. What’s more, Walmart has committed to matching donations up to $820,000 in addition to a $180,000 donation to address the growing needs, potentially donating us $1 million!
We want to thank Walmart Canada, its associates and clients for their support in our efforts to #StopChildHunger!
The people at Oatbox, our partners for the past six years, are committed to providing good nutrition to students across the country. They recently took this idea to the next level by working with BCC to develop the Club Bar to get children’s days off to a healthy start.
Oatbox’s support for BCC goes back to November 2014. After donating 30,000+ breakfasts over the years, the company wanted to do even more for the next generation.
The need for a healthier breakfast bar for children, with less sugar than other products on the market and made in an allergen-free production facility, seemed like the ideal solution. After several months of development and testing on young tastebuds, Oatbox is proud to launch the Club Bar, 25 grams of kid-friendly oat, blueberry and honey goodness.
Close to a million of these bars, created specifically to meet children’s nutritional needs, will be distributed to Quebec schools enrolled with the Club this year. Starting today, Oatbox will donate one bar to Breakfast Club of Canada for every purchase made on their website: oatbox.com.
Thank you, Oatbox, for being there for the children!
This year marked our 14th annual back-to-school fundraising campaign with Staples Canada. Between July 17 and September 28, stores across Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces encouraged customers to give to Breakfast Club of Canada at the checkout. The results this year are amazing, thanks to the $362,034 in contributions from generous customers, coupled with associates’ valiant efforts.
“Our goal is to help people work better, learn more and do more every day. Your inspiring performances and this wonderful partnership with Breakfast Club of Canada means we can, as a unified team, help so many families and children in need and help them achieve, learn and grow.” – Rick Francioni, District Manager, Atlantic Canada
Staff in 64 stores in Quebec and 22 stores in the Atlantic Provinces pulled out all the stops throughout the campaign period to raise as much money as possible to nourish children’s potential. Campaign ambassadors in each store took the time to educate, inform and train cashiers to ensure they were ready, willing and able to do their part.
“I’ve had the opportunity to serve breakfast to elementary school children at a program run by the Club and I can tell you just how important it is to the kids – and how much they enjoy it. I saw the impact our fundraisers have on them and the volunteers who are giving their all. These kids are the future of our society, and it’s our duty to make sure they get an equal chance to succeed.” – Louis Pouliot, District Manager/14 – Nova Scotia/PEI
Creative ways to connect with customers
- At Store #49 (Marché Central, Montreal), employees created a colouring book that was handed out to all donors the first week of the campaign. Other stores followed in their footsteps soon afterward.
- Some stores decided to distribute back-to-school shipping lists in exchange for a donation to the Club.
- Store #211 in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, held a raffle for a Keurig coffeemaker. All customers who made a donation were given a ticket to fill out for the draw.
- Staples #208 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is the store that raised the most money during the campaign, with a grand total of $11,596. Congratulations!
The extraordinary dedication of all team members at participating stores will let us feed a growing number of children during the coming year. This is even more meaningful in 2020–2021, knowing that 2 million Canadian students will be starting the school day on an empty stomach in the wake of the pandemic. That’s a staggering 1 out of every 3 youngsters across the country.
On behalf of the children whose lives are changed by Breakfast Club of Canada, thank you to Staples Canada and their associates for pitching in and making a difference!