MONTREAL – August 20, 2020 –
- Due to COVID-19, the number of children going to class on an empty stomach has increased from over 1 million to now over 2 million
- This back-to-school season, Breakfast Club of Canada is rallying the support of local partners, schools, companies, and Canadians to deliver innovative food programs across the country
Today, Breakfast Club of Canada launches its Back-to-School campaign ‘’Don’t Let Hunger Get in Their Way’’ to mobilize its partners along with Canadians to ensure all kids start their day nourished this fall. Building on its mission of feeding students’ potential and giving all children an equal chance of success, the Club is calling on Canadians’ generosity to support its network of local schools and charities to deliver innovative food programs across the country, no matter how the school year unfolds.
“Back-to-school is supposed to be exciting time and a fresh start for students. However, given the pandemic, not having enough food is a major concern for some children and their families,” says Tommy Kulczyk, General Manager of Breakfast Club of Canada. “COVID has severely disrupted the economy and caused severe job loss. We know many families are struggling even more than before to put food on the table. Children are among the most vulnerable, but we can’t let hunger get in their way.”
According to Breakfast Club of Canada, more than one million children across the country were going to school on an empty stomach before COVID. Now, the Club is forecasting a drastic increase to over two million for the coming school year. That’s a jump from one in four children to more than one in every three children who will be going to school on an empty stomach.
“We need collective and creative solutions to feed all children during this time of crisis – the alternative is potential negative long-term and permanent impact to both their mental and physical health. For example, hunger limits children’s cognition including the ability to focus and retain information and can also impact their ability to regulate emotions. I am so encouraged by the work Breakfast Club of Canada is doing and the support we have seem from the public during the pandemic,” says Lindsay Pleskot, Registered Dietitian and parent.
The Emergency Fund that the Club launched in March in response to COVID-19 has helped to provide food to over half a million children over the past few months through supporting and collaborating with over 1,000 local organizations and schools cross Canada. With schools re-opening under various regional models, the Club’s network has adapted its food delivery services for breakfast programs to minimize risks and physical contact. Based on successes and learnings from restarting breakfast programs in Quebec last May, this includes only distributing individually packaged meals, food to be served in classrooms to allow for proper social distancing and limiting the menu to cold items only.
‘’As a mom of twins, I know how important healthy food is for my kids. Even as we’ve been sheltering at home, they are constantly learning, playing, running, they NEVER STOP! All of that requires fuel for their growing bodies and brain. That’s why the work Breakfast Club of Canada is doing is more important now than ever. Let’s make sure all our children can have the fuel they need to feed their potential,” says Breakfast Club of Canada spokesperson and comedian, Jessi Cruickshank.
“For over 25 years, Breakfast Club of Canada has been providing meals to students before class every morning. No matter what this school year looks like, let’s not let hunger put our children’s future on hold. We hope families and donors across Canada will join us in giving every child an equal chance to succeed this year,” says Kulczyk.
To find out more on how to donate to Breakfast Club of Canada’s back-to-school efforts, visit breakfastclubcanada.org.
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. Use our following hashtags #StopChildHunger and #FeedKidsNow.
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For more information and to schedule interviews with Breakfast Club of Canada spokespeople, please contact: