Most people think of school breakfast programs as a way of making sure students get the nutrition they need to fuel their academic performance. But what they don’t necessarily consider is all the social perks these programs have for their young members.

 

In connection with International Friendship Day, we talked to Linzi, who was a breakfast program enrollee when she was younger. She used to eat breakfast at school several times a week, but not because of food insecurity. It was a way for her to make friends and learn more about the culture of her adopted home of Quebec.

 

Her family came here from China when she was six years old. They moved to the Montreal suburb of LaSalle when she was eight. That’s when she first heard about Breakfast Club of Canada. With both her parents working and two other siblings at home, mornings in her household tended to be hectic. Her family made the decision to sign her up for the breakfast program so she could enjoy a calmer start to the day and have the time to eat a full, wholesome breakfast before the first bell rang.

Linzi and her younger brother

It was there, over breakfast, that Linzi realized that overcoming linguistic barriers and engaging in a conversation with her fellow students wasn’t as difficult as it first seemed.

 

“With all the food there was to choose from, it created an environment where, even if I didn’t really know very many kids, I could say things like, ‘Oh, is that what you picked?’, ‘And you took that?’ ‘Is that good?’ or ‘I like this one the best.’ It gave us something in common we could talk about.”

 

One of the benefits of the breakfast program for Linzi was all the friendships that emerged from it, with students at all grade levels.

 

“I made tons of friends through Breakfast Club of Canada because it had nothing to do with school as such. But I would see some of my classmates there, too. After you have breakfast, you have the energy you need to begin your day, but it also means you feel less rushed.”

 

Linzi and the other kids would chat over breakfast, regardless of their differing ages or grade levels. They all looked out for one another. The older kids would help the younger ones, for example, by going to get them a utensil they didn’t have. And the more experienced breakfast program enrollees were quick to show the newbies the ropes, she explained.

Linzi and hey younger brother

She has lots of great memories of her time with Breakfast Club of Canada. One that stands out in her mind is an encounter she had with an older student.

 

“I remember I was finishing up something I really liked, but I was too shy to get up and get seconds. Breakfast was almost over, and the volunteers were starting to clean up. That’s when one of the older kids who hadn’t eaten his said to me, ‘You can have mine if you want.’”

 

Linzi also has fond recollections of her first school breakfast. She felt a little lost, but she remembers the volunteers who walked her in and made her feel instantly at home.

 

“They were so nice. They smiled, took the time to talk to me, and said, ‘Hi, how are you today?’ to every child who came in and paid close attention to them. I felt seen. I felt like I mattered. When you show up with a tray and you don’t know a soul, it’s a little scary. It really helped me come out of my shell. It’s this type of experience that definitely shaped my sense of belonging with the Quebec community.”

Linzi and Gallea

Today, Linzi is the co-founder and director of operations at the Gallea art gallery, Canada’s largest online art gallery and exhibition venue. Not only does she work in the operations division, she is also an artist herself. It was important to her to make sure other children can have the same positive experience she did when she was younger. Fun fact, Gallea is also one of the Club’s newest partners.

 

Breakfast programs influence children’s lives in countless ways. You can learn more about BCC’s impact.

New Ambassadors for BCC

The pair want to raise awareness and help provide children with important opportunities

 

Boucherville, July 19, 2021 – Breakfast Club of Canada is proud to announce that Lindsey Butterworth and Justin Kent are joining the BCC community as ambassadors. The British Columbia natives are eager to contribute to fundraising initiatives as well as promote the Club’s values in order to provide children with important nutritional and educational opportunities.

 

“I have a passion for health promotion and a keen interest in advocating healthy behaviour through adequate nutrition in youth,” explained Lindsey Butterworth. “Learning about food security in my undergraduate degree and volunteering with the breakfast program at my local community centre really instilled the importance of access to a healthy breakfast in me. I want to continue to promote and increase accessibility to breakfast programs across the country with Breakfast Club of Canada.”

 

A Canadian middle-distance runner, Butterworth is set to represent Canada at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. She began her running career while attending Simon Fraser University and is a two-time NCAA Division II 800m champion. She graduated from university in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences. Butterworth currently trains in Burnaby, British Columbia, while working full time as an academic advisor for student athletes.

 

Also joining the Club’s circle of ambassadors is Justin Kent. A Canadian distance runner, he represented Canada at the 2017 Jeux de la Francophonie and the 2019 World Cross Country Championships. In 2019, he won the Vancouver Sun Run, becoming the first local to win since 1992. Kent trains in Burnaby, British Columbia, and is a coach with Mile2Marathon, a community-centered coaching program.

 

“I believe in the importance of equal opportunity for youth to have access to proper nutrition,” said Kent. “Growing up in Surrey, British Columbia, an inner-city school system, I witnessed the positive impact of a breakfast program. I hope I can make a difference so that youth are properly fuelled to achieve their goals. No one should chase their dreams on an empty stomach.”

 

The pair will be actively involved in the Club’s fundraising activities as well as growing awareness on the importance of breakfast programs in Canada. Eager to kick-off this partnership, Butterworth and Kent are selling their personal branded Olympic t-shirts, with all proceeds going to the Club. They have also launched their own fundraising page to help raise money for the cause.

 

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Lindsey and Justin to our BCC family,” stated Tommy Kulczyk, General Manager of Breakfast Club of Canada. “It is an honour to work with ambassadors who care deeply about the work we do and who help support our mission. Lindsey and Justin are passionate about nutrition and want to make a difference in the lives of children in Canada. They are great role models and we look forward to collaborating with them on many upcoming projects.”

 

About Breakfast Club of Canada

Accredited by Imagine Canada for its effective governance, the Club provides much more than breakfast: its approach is based on commitment, self-esteem and capacity development using an optimal formula adapted to local needs. Breakfast Club of Canada helps feed more than 257,000 children and youth in 1,887 schools across the country. To learn more, visit breakfastclubcanada.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

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For more information:

Victoria Jaklin
Advisor, Corporate Communications and Public Relations
Breakfast Club of Canada
victoria.jaklin@breakfastclubcanada.org
514-929-6805

Breakfast Club of Canada is celebrating its 15th year of partnership with the Air Canada Foundation, a partnership that has helped grow its reach outside of the province of Quebec into a national organization serving healthy meals to more than 250,000 students a day.

 

“They actually were a founding partner to help us take flight, if you will, to expand our operations outside of Quebec,” says Lisa Clowery, BCC’s director of corporate sponsorships. “It was a big milestone for us to have them as a partner.”That initial support of free flights helped BCC expand its operations to every province and territory. And it grew from there, with financial support from the Air Canada Foundation helping to fund programs that promote the health and well-being of children across the country, including in Canada’s Indigenous communities. 

“Air Canada aims to reflect Canadian’s values, which embody those of unity and diversity,” says Air Canada Foundation spokesperson Valerie Durand. “In setting up these programs, it was important for us to support as many communities as possible, including Indigenous communities. Breakfast Club of Canada was already doing it through their programs, so it was a perfect alignment.”

 

Since their relationship began, the Air Canada Foundation has invested more than $1.2 million dollars and their contributions to BCC have helped them serve close to 2 million breakfasts to more than 11,000 students. In addition, 1,500 Indigenous students from high-need communities in Alberta and Manitoba now have access to healthy food options via newly established school breakfast programs.

Programmes petits déjeuners

In 2019, the Air Canada Foundation also committed to funding the opening of two priority breakfast programs in the Northwest Territories and Yukon. They are also sustaining three breakfast programs in remote schools by covering the costs of food purchases and kitchen equipment.

 

“Our mission is the health and wellness of kids and we do this through three main pillars: helping sick kids get better, alleviating child poverty and making dreams come true,” explains Durand.

 

When it comes to that last pillar of making dreams come true, Durand points to the Shooting for the Stars initiative. Every year, three to four Indigenous youth from British Columbia enjoy a trip to Montreal to meet their hockey idol, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price. Children are selected from communities where Price played hockey as a youth.

 

As an FNMI ambassador for BCC, Price is a role model for young people across the country, but especially for those who share his Indigenous heritage. Clowery says that the five-year Shooting for the Stars initiative was a real highlight of the organizations’ partnership and one that has had a real impact on the communities that the children come from.

 

“Air Canada was one of the first partners to help us with funding for the Indigenous community and that was a huge milestone for us,” says Clowery. “Over the years, every time we needed them to be part of something, they’ve always raised their hand.”

Programmes petits déjeuners

Last year, the Air Canada Foundation designated Breakfast Club of Canada as a recipient for the cash donations collected from passengers aboard their flights in their Every Bit Counts program. Despite the reduced amount of passenger traffic during the pandemic, the program still collected just over $136,000 for BCC. Of that total, $50,000 was earmarked for their Back to School campaign to combat food insecurity, which has been on the rise during the health crisis.The pandemic has exacerbated the problem in remote Indigenous communities, like Grise Fiord on Ellesmere Island. The Nunavut community is the northernmost in Canada, but one BCC ambassador made the effort to ensure students received food during pandemic-induced school closures in May and June 2020. 

For many of the 25 kindergarten to Grade 12 students of Umimmak School, the healthy breakfast served there was the one sure meal they would receive each day. Teachers were concerned about how students would access the nutrition they need. So one teacher named Zuzanna took it upon herself to create food hampers to deliver to the hamlet’s families. Due to health restrictions, no one else could help her, so she assembled the food parcels by herself and personally delivered them by sled once a week.When Air Canada announced winners for its Gift of Travel campaign last holiday season to celebrate community heroes who went above and beyond during 2020, Zuzanna was one of the recipients. 

“We are extremely grateful for our relationship with the Air Canada Foundation and we just want to continue to grow and soar with them and see what other horizons we can achieve together,” says Clowery.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Breakfast Club of Canada.
Montreal, July 8, 2021 – Breakfast Club of Canada announced today that the President and Founder, Daniel Germain, will be stepping down from his role as president after more than 26 years with the organization. He will nevertheless continue to actively support the Club’s mission in his capacity as founder.  

 

Since 1994, Breakfast Club of Canada has been nurturing children’s potential by making sure as many of them as possible have access to a healthy morning meal before school, in an environment that allows their self-esteem to grow and flourish. But the Club is much more than a breakfast program, it takes a broader approach that is based on engagement, enrichment and empowerment, teaming up with communities and local partners to develop solutions adapted to their specific needs. Breakfast Club of Canada brings together hundreds of thousands of students and volunteers every morning who connect over a nutritious breakfast. More specifically, nearly 300,000 students are reached every day in communities across the country, including close to 300 First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.  

 

“The Board of Directors applauds the extraordinary work of Daniel Germain. He is a visionary and a remarkable pioneer in social entrepreneurship and food security across the country. Today, thousands of children have access to breakfast each day thanks to the path he has created. The Club is now a mature organization and is well positioned to meet the growing needs and help feed even more children across the country.” 

— Louis Frenette, Member of Breakfast Club of Canada’s Board of Directors 

 

“I’ve been preparing for the administrative handover of my duties for a few years now. It is with a sense of accomplishment that I’m saying goodbye to my role as president. I’m leaving behind an established team of professionals, who are driven and determined to help lead the efforts to promote school nutrition in Canada. I am extremely grateful to the thousands of volunteers, school staff members and Club employees who have contributed to our mission over the years, as well as all those who continue to do so every day, as well as the board members who have stood up for the organization and taught us a great deal about strategy, governance and management. My thanks also go out to the passionate partners we have teamed up with, some of whom have been with us from the very start. In the coming months, I’ll have the chance to reach out to many of these volunteers, employees and partners to thank them personally for being part of this journey, which turned into more than I ever could have imagined. A special thank you to Judith Barry, my ally from day one, for your unwavering support for this crazy dream of ours, which has become so important and so meaningful to so many.”  

 Daniel Germain, President and Founder, Breakfast Club of Canada 

 

“As Daniel moves on from his duties as president of Breakfast Club of Canada, he’s leaving much more than a long tenure behind. We will continue to carry this great responsibility and push our limits for the well-being of children, just as he did so well over the past 26 years. The team is ready to continue this important work and to surpass themselves to always do better for the children, as Daniel has always encouraged me to do.’’ 

— Judith Barry, Co-Founder, Director of Impact and Provincial & Territorial Government Relations, Breakfast Club of Canada 

 

Daniel Germain will announce his future plans in the coming weeks and will take the opportunity to highlight some of the organization’s key achievements over the years. 

 

About Breakfast Club of Canada 

Accredited by Imagine Canada for its effective governance, the Club provides much more than breakfast: its approach is based on commitment, self-esteem and capacity development using an optimal formula adapted to local needs. Breakfast Club of Canada helps feed more than 257,000 children and youth in 1,887 schools across the country. To learn more, visit breakfastclubcanada.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.  

 

– 30 –  

For more information: 

 

Nathalie Rochette
Communications and Marketing Director 

Breakfast Club of Canada 

nathalie.rochette@breakfastclubcanada.org 

514.404.5660 

 

For an interview with Daniel Germain:
Joanie Noël 

Communications Narimane 

info@narimane.ca 

514-371-8317 

Kids putting hands together on the table

Breakfast Club of Canada is currently looking for a Digital Strategy & Campaigns Lead, to contribute to the organization’s Canada-wide growth.

The successful candidate will oversee all digital activities and campaigns. They will influence BCC’s development through innovative acquisition and retention strategies. They will be a natural leader and an excellent communicator, with a proven track record for delivering results and thriving in a complex environment. Reporting to the Director, Communications and Marketing, the incumbent will help elevate BCC’s visibility across Canada, acquire and retain donors, and improve the donor experience at every contact point.

Breakfast Club of Canada promotes employment equity and welcomes applications from all qualified individuals.

 

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES

Manage and lead the campaign and digital teams:

  • Oversee strategic digital planning processes and campaign rollouts,
  • Ensure efficient workflow,
  • Manage allocated budgets.

Help improve the organization’s value proposition and positioning:

  • Play a key role in establishing business strategies and developing annual and media plans,
  • Ensure adherence to the brand vision,
  • Ensure campaign messages, angle and overall tone are on brand.

Develop and deploy digital strategies:

  • Implement a consistent donor experience across the multichannel journey (social media, website, campaigns, etc.),
  • Improve donor engagement and the digital experience,
  • Supervise donor segmentation and identify target segments,
  • Identify growth opportunities and initiatives offering a positive ROI,
  • Ensure information in the CRM system is relevant, up to date and fully leveraged.

 

SPECIFIC QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, communication, marketing or a related discipline (master’s degree, an asset),
  • Seven to ten years of experience,
  • Past experience working in non-profits or private companies on projects of similar size and scope,
  • Talent for expressing complex ideas in easy-to-understand terms,
  • Technical knowledge to facilitate interaction with other teams,
  • In-depth knowledge of CRM platforms (Salesforce, an asset),
  • Experience in philanthropy, an asset,
  • Outstanding ability to manage teams and guide them toward achieving shared objectives,
  • Excellent command of written and spoken French and English.

 

PERSONAL QUALITIES

  • Adherence to Breakfast Club of Canada values,
  • Ability to develop, articulate and defend ideas,
  • Demonstrated creativity and innovation; a champion of collaboration,
  • Positive attitude,
  • High tolerance for stress,
  • Analytical mindset,
  • Problem solver, results-oriented.

 

WORK CONDITIONS

  • Permanent, full-time position,
  • 40 hours/week, Monday to Friday,
  • The successful candidate will be based in a major city in Canada (teleworking during COVID),
  • Competitive salary,
  • Flexible hours,
  • Professional development,
  • Personal leave days,
  • Group insurance plan,
  • Group RRSP with employer matching contributions,
  • Must pass a background check,
  • Target start date: As soon as possible.

 

TO APPLY

Please email your résumé and cover letter to CV@breakfastclubcanada.org. Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Breakfast Club of Canada and FedEx Partnership

Because no child should start the day hungry!

As the pandemic has exacerbated household food insecurity, Breakfast Club of Canada is working relentlessly to make sure more and more children start their day with a healthy meal, this would not be possible without the help of valued supporters such as FedEx.

FedEx and Breakfast Club of Canada partnership

As a trusted employer with more than 570,000 team members worldwide, FedEx is proud to support charities across Canada that are near and dear to their employees’ hearts. The company quickly understood the benefits of providing a nutritious meal at school and, more than that, the fact that BCC programs generate positive changes in school communities and our society.

 

Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada explains, “Giving back is part of the FedEx culture. FedEx Cares is our global community engagement program and one way that we live out our purpose of connecting people and possibilities. Around the world, our team members support charitable investments and community needs by dedicating their time where they live and work”.

 

In addition to their corporate charitable initiatives, FedEx donates more than $60,000 a year to registered Canadian charities selected by its employees through its FedEx Cares Employee Community Fund.

BCC and FedEx

Sadly, food insecurity still affects the lives of too many Canadians, and it continues to be a critical issue throughout the COVID-19 crisis. With so many people out of work and businesses closed, more and more Canadians are turning to food banks and other community agencies for support, and the number of children in need has increased dramatically.  So, FedEx decided to focus their giving efforts on organizations like Breakfast Club of Canada that are helping children and other at-risk people across the country during this difficult time.

“Through our local giving programs, FedEx supports organizations helping people in need across Canada. Within the last year, our team members have donated more than 5,000 kg of food to 34 Canadian food banks, and the company has donated more than $100,000 to food banks and organizations including Breakfast Club of Canada, that are directly addressing the issue of food insecurity,” added Lisson.

Breakfast Club of Canada is deeply grateful for the support received from FedEx and for their commitment to children’s health and wellness. Their efforts have a huge impact on the Club’s mission to feed  children, especially in these difficult times and on the long road to recovery.