Partnership between Still Good, 3Brasseurs and BCC

 

From now until August 31, the people at Still Good will be teaming up with 3 Brasseurs for a campaign to raise funds to provide 30,000 upcycled cookies to Breakfast Club of Canada.  

 

Nutrient-packed cookies for an energy-packed start to the day 

 “Making upcycled cookies for Breakfast Club of Canada is something that aligns perfectly with our mission. This is the kind of partnership that inspires us to go the extra mile, year after year,” said Still Good co-founder and CEO Jonathan Rodrigue.  

Still Good started donating upcycled cookies to BCC breakfast programs in March 2022. The collaboration was forged out of a mutual commitment to making healthy, great-tasting and planet-friendly food available to students.  

 

Still Good and 3 Brasseurs: A dream team! 

Still Good has embraced a zero-waste model that aims to reduce food waste by repurposing local companies’ by-products into new and tasty food items.  

Still Good and the 3 Brasseurs chain of restaurants are working together this summer to raise funds for Breakfast Club of Canada. This isn’t the first time they’ve joined forces: Still Good rescues the spent grain from the beer brewed by 3 Brasseurs on a regular basis and turns it into a special kind of flour, which is then used by the restaurants’ teams to create several of the dishes on their menu.  

 

Cooking with spent grain flour 

Spent grain flour is a prebiotic that contains whole plant proteins, fibres and essential minerals. It is a delicious, nutritious and versatile plant-based alternative that can replace up to 30% of wheat flour.  

 

Making a difference 

Every dish made from spent grain flour sold in one of the eleven 3 Brasseurs restaurants in Quebec between now and August 31 will help fill the Breakfast Club of Canada cookie jar! For each order, Still Good will add another cookie to the total number of upcycled cookies donated to BCC.  

The goal is to provide 30,000 cookies to the Club by the end of the campaign.  

 

Partners

Still Good | 3 Brasseurs

girl eating watermelon

 

In May 2021, Breakfast Club of Canada joined forces with Services Alimentaires Racines to set up a pilot project aimed at ensuring more children and youth could start their school day with a healthy breakfast.

 

Who is Services Alimentaires Racines?

Established in 2012, Services Alimentaires Racines is a social economy enterprise that provides food services to the local community in and around Huntingdon, Quebec. Fighting food insecurity at the local level is an important part of the organization’s mission.

Arthur-Pigeon School and Services Alimentaires Racines have been partnering to feed children for the past seven years. Staff members from the organization’s catering services go to the school to prepare meals that are then distributed to students in the surrounding area.

 

Enter BCC

Last year, a community partnership agreement was entered into between Breakfast Club of Canada and Services Alimentaires Racines to bring a hybrid menu to the students of Arthur-Pigeon School. Under the terms of the project, financed by BCC, Services Alimentaires Racines supplies the grains, fruits and vegetables, and the Club supplies the proteins directly from its warehouse.

The agreement was renewed at the beginning of the 2021–2022 school year to ensure students at Arthur-Pigeon School continued to have access to the program. Currently, that translates to roughly 250 breakfasts every day.

 

Onward and upward

In 2022, the pilot project was extended to include other schools as well. In January, Chateauguay Valley Regional High School, in Ormstown, switched to a different approach. Instead of having supplies dropped off to the school, the program rolled out a hybrid menu, which was made possible by the community partnership between BCC and Services Alimentaires Racines. Another 100 students are now part of the pilot project as a result. In April 2022, Heritage Regional High School in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, followed in these same footsteps, adding yet another 100 students to the roster.

 

Another actor in the fight against food waste

Les Complices Alimentaires is a collective project whose goal is to repurpose fruits and vegetables. Thanks to their work, rescuing surplus and unsellable products from grocery stores and other retail establishments, students have access to a variety of fresh, seasonal produce throughout the year. This group undertaking, alongside Services Alimentaires Racines and Breakfast Club of Canada, allows students from all three schools to be exposed to a wider range of food. When the growing season is over, Les Complices Alimentaires cans and preserves whatever is left to be enjoyed during the winter months. That way, nothing goes to waste!

 

Good things come to those who eat

The official metrics for the pilot project have not yet been released, but here is a sneak peek at some of the benefits that have already been observed:

  • An increase in daily attendance at Chateauguay Valley Regional High School, which climbed as high as 50% in only a few months.
  • Easier use, distribution and consumption of local products.
  • Streamlined discussions between BCC, Services Alimentaires Racines and other front-line organizations such as Moisson Sud-Ouest and Cantine pour tous as a result of the approach being used.
  • A lower staff turnover rate at Services Alimentaires Racines and an increase in production output. With financial support from BCC and others, the company was actually able to upgrade some of the kitchen equipment.
  • Reduction in food waste, thanks to the contributions of Les Complices Alimentaires, a collective social enterprise.

 

One year after the launch of the project, we are happy to report that a total 450 students from these three schools enjoy a healthy breakfast every morning. Communication with the administration of Arthur-Pigeon School is very smooth, thereby laying the groundwork for future opportunities with other nearby schools.

Stay tuned!

 

Happy Earth Day

Created more than 50 years ago, Earth Day is now celebrated by over 1 billion people around the world. Together, they strive to raise public awareness and take action on a number of pressing issues affecting our planet. Climate change and environmental degradation are undoubtedly the greatest threats to humanity in the 21st century.

 

Breakfast Club of Canada is proud to work with a number of partners who are committed to finding solutions to these critical challenges.

 

Trudeau Corporation: Reusable containers  

Trudeau Corporation has been a BCC partner since 2020, when the pandemic broke out. In order to comply with the public health restrictions in place at the time, new approaches were introduced for serving breakfast to students, most of which were centred on individually packaged food products.  

But Trudeau Corporation had a more planet-friendly solution in mind: they donated 5,000 reusable sandwich boxes to 45 breakfast programs in Quebec and Ontario.  

You can read the full blog article here.

 

Still Good: Fighting food waste 

Still Good is a leading advocate of reducing global food waste. By teaming up with BCC, they are helping not only to feed children but also to rescue surplus food that would otherwise be thrown away.  

Still Good gives a second life to nutritious ingredients, such as malted barley residue, and fruit and vegetable pulp, by upcycling them into delicious breakfast cookies that provide children with the energy they need to learn.  

See how this process works here.

 

West Coast Seeds: Growing food for growing children  

The people at West Coast Seeds are known for their green thumb and their high-quality products. They sell and ship hundreds of varieties of plant, vegetable, flower and other seeds across the country.  

Since 2020, they have been doing their part for the next generation by donating a portion of the sales of select products to Breakfast Club of Canada. So as they are encouraging more Canadians to get out and get gardening, they are also helping to provide an equal chance of success to thousands of children from coast to coast to coast.  

 

MicroHabitat: Making a difference, one plant at a time  

MicroHabitat specializes in transforming urban rooftops and other spaces into nourishing gardens.  

They help build sustainable food systems in urban communities, parks and schools, where children can learn about the rewards of growing their own food.  

They are proud to offer financial support to Breakfast Club of Canada through the sale of MicroHabitat pots — a wonderful way to green up our cities while making sure more children get a healthy start to their day. 

 

For more partner-led initiatives, click here

Nanaimo Ladysmith School Foundation

Breakfast Club of Canada has been a proud partner of Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation (NLSF) since 2015. They do a phenomenal job of mobilizing community resources in their network and preparing food deliveries for schools through their food depot. In 2021–2022, the number of schools supported by BCC under NLSF reached 21, with an average of 1,291 students benefiting daily.

 

In December, two BCC staff members had a chance to visit this dedicated Vancouver Island partner. The day brought several exciting moments as they joined NLSF’s Executive Director, Crystal Dennison, to visit several school programs and the food depot. They learned about the organization’s incredible local impacts along the way.

Nanaimo Ladysmith School Foundation

The first stop was Bayview Elementary School, where the breakfast program is run by the principal, Stephanie Stephens, and an educational assistant, Naomi Lajeunesse. Naomi has a strong passion for student nutrition and enjoys cooking and baking. She shared that NLSF’s food delivery service is highly appreciated because she wouldn’t have the time to shop for her breakfast program otherwise. Naomi praised NLSF’s healthy food support and how responsive Crystal is. “Time is the only thing that I wish I could have more of for the breakfast program,” said Naomi during the visit, which showed how limited staff resources are for running a breakfast program and emphasized the value of NLSF’s food delivery services.

 

The next stop was to one of the most robust school meal programs supported by NLSF, at John Barsby Community School. The program serves both breakfast and lunch in addition to providing food to five feeder schools. It is supported by Holly Knox, culinary arts teacher, and 25 students from her cooking program. There are two breakfast options: a centralized grab-and-go station and a classroom order delivery model. For the latter, students order from the menu, and meals are delivered to each classroom by cooking program participants. Holly couldn’t help but tear up when talking about how NLSF has helped the school grow the program to where it is today. She also thanked BCC for their generous and continuous support of NLSF.

 

The final stop was NLSF’s food depot, where all the magic happens! The food depot is where food donations and bulk purchases are sorted, stored and distributed to schools across the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district. Tracy Gilbert, NSLF’s School Food Coordinator, is usually there to help load the Food4Schools delivery vehicle. She gave a fantastic tour of the depot — a bright and spacious area that is well equipped with both dry and cold storage. Healthy food products were neatly arranged on the shelves for easy sorting and retrieval. Surprisingly, Tracy is the only staff member coordinating food logistics and sorting deliveries at the depot, with occasional help from community members.

 

The depot and the schools visited are all a part of an innovative and impactful system created by Tracy and Crystal and supported by many others. The program used to be run out of Tracy and Crystal’s office until it was relocated to a storage unit and finally to this beautiful and well-organized location. The two have been consistently working side by side to extend the program impacts to more students and school communities.

 

When asked what the future looked like for NLSF’s Food4Schools program, Crystal shared that they hope the depot can grow into a fully functioning commercial kitchen, where they can cook and prepare food for participating schools. The schools benefit greatly from having food items delivered to them, but they still need to spend time preparing meals every morning. Crystal hopes that one day NLSF can take on that responsibility to free up even more time for educators to focus on teaching while the organization takes care of feeding the students.

 

This is all part of visualizing a future where all children can be fed equitably, and communities can rise together. BCC greatly appreciates NLSF’s dedication in running such an amazing food program and making the most of the resources and networks at their disposal to sustain quality breakfast programs for local school communities.

 

If you would like to learn more about NLSF’s Food4Schools program, you can visit their website at: https://www.nlsf.ca/food4schools/

If you are interested in John Barsby Community School’s meal program, be sure to watch this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFkV2TANZ68

Lunchbox

Breakfast programs in Ontario and Quebec have been fortunate to receive a helping hand these past few months to make their operations more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

 

In response to the pandemic, a number of workarounds had to be developed to adapt BCC’s menus and serving methods to comply with public health restrictions. These have included an increased reliance on single-serve packaging. With the goal of finding a greener way to address these issues, BCC talked to Trudeau Corporation.

Little Boy with his lunch

The company generously offered to donate 5,000 Fuel sandwich boxes to 45 schools and organizations in Ontario and Quebec. This initiative reflects efforts in recent years to reduce the carbon footprint of breakfast programs by embracing alternatives to single-use plastic.

 

Claudine Dessureault, BCC’s National Senior Advisor, Purchasing and Inventory, explains: “When we met with the people at Trudeau, the idea was to find out how they, as makers of a whole range of kitchen supplies, could help us.”

 

It proved to be a great match and one that is perfectly aligned with BCC’s long-time desire to equip school programs with the tools to make preparing and serving breakfast more efficient.

 

Teaming up for a more sustainable future

 

Trudeau Corporation is a leader in the design and development of kitchenware and houseware products, with a history of innovation and excellence that dates back to 1889. They quickly grasped the issues at hand and put forward the idea of using sandwich boxes to meet students’ needs.

 

It was important that the selected solution not only be reusable but also be easy to clean and child-friendly.

Little Boy eating his lunch

With this pilot project, the company aims to raise public awareness about the work being done by Breakfast Club of Canada and contribute to the cause of children. Trudeau is already involved in health-related issues and this new partnership demonstrates its commitment to food-related organizations.

 

For example, the company participated in the Bruny Surin Foundation auction, whose mission is to promote the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle for students. Trudeau is also a continued supporter of La Tablée des Chefs and its work to combat food insecurity and improve food literacy among young people. In this sense, the company notes the importance of food for the proper functioning of the body and the growth of children, but also sees an opportunity to learn and be exposed to new experiences.

 

Putting the environment at the center of decisions

 

There is still a long way to go in terms of making BCC’s operations even more sustainable, but the organization is definitely green at heart. To achieve these goals will take the ongoing cooperation of school teams, in that fewer disposable products will mean a few more dishes to wash. So both our volunteers and our partners are vital to the success of these initiatives.

 

Moreover, there is a budgetary barrier faced by BCC as a non-profit organization when it comes to acquiring high-quality products. Although the benefits of switching over are tangible from a waste reduction perspective, the financial challenge remains.

 

According to Marie-Eve Desrochers, BCC’s Senior Advisor, Corporate Partnerships, “We are having promising discussions with other partners who share our values and put children and the planet first.” The next step will be to make BCC-themed Fuel sandwich boxes available for sale to the public as part of a back-to-school fundraiser. “The proceeds will help us pay for the supplies we need to provide concrete support to schools as they strive to become more sustainability-minded — supplies that would otherwise not be financially feasible. Partners like Trudeau Corporation are the reason we can move forward with solutions like these,” she concluded.

Children Drawing

Creating a future full of possibility, joy & discovery: this is the ambitious mission that guides the Youth+Us program set up by K+S Potash Canada (KSPC). Since last year, the company has partnered with Breakfast Club of Canada to reach a greater number of Saskatchewan communities, helping to provide the food and nutrition local children need to thrive and become tomorrow’s thinkers, innovators, and leaders.

 

Many studies report that one of the key factors in healthy child development is reliable access to food and nutrition to nurture physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It’s an idea that the KSPC team understands well, as Lauren Bartel – Communications Coordinator at KSPC – explains. “Unfortunately, this is a daily struggle for many families in our communities, and knowing this, we felt we could make a difference through dedicated partnerships with the right organizations, such as Breakfast Club of Canada.”

 

K+S Potash Canada is part of the K+S Group, a German-based company that has been mining and processing potash and salt for over 125 years. KSPC is one of the world’s leading suppliers of mineral products, which are used in everything from agriculture to consumer products; it is headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, but the majority of KSPC’s 400 employees are located nearer to the Bethune Mine, further south in the rural municipality of Dufferin. This mine was a ground-breaking venture, as the single largest project in the company’s history as well as being the first new potash mine built in Saskatchewan in more than 40 years.

 

Grateful for the opportunity to work within the province and experience all it has to offer, K+S Potash Canada started looking for ways to give back to the Saskatchewan communities that make their work possible. More than a decade later, KSPC now invests over $1.5 million annually back into Saskatchewan, with a specific focus on youth initiatives that help children get more chances to develop life skills, discover what drives them, and participate in new experiences.

 

“Our responsibility is to give back to the communities in which we live and work. Rather than stretching ourselves too thin trying to support everything, we focused our attention on youth initiatives,” says Bartel. “We feel this has the most potential for long-term, positive impact, because as those youth grow up, the experiences they’ve had will be replicated and passed along to their family and friends as well.”

 

Feeding a growing world

With potash being one of the world’s most effective crop fertilizers, KSPC operates in an industry that is adjacent to food production. The company is aware of food insecurity trends, and how a lack of adequate nutrition can affect young children not just in the moment, but for the rest of their lives.

 

“We believe this to be a critical issue across the province that needs to be addressed, but we also know that there are organizations – such as Breakfast Club of Canada – that can do so more effectively than we could on our own,” Bartel adds. “We are here to empower and enable those organizations to do what they do best.” This partnership fortifies Breakfast Club of Canada’s operations, particularly within Saskatchewan, where additional program expansions have occurred over the last year.

 

Breakfast Club of Canada’s Corporate Partnerships Advisor, Steven Letts, highlights the benefit even further. “KSPC has provided us with generous support through critical periods of the pandemic and beyond. They support many initiatives, including arts and athletic programs; the Club zeros in on nutrition, but we all are focused on improving the wellbeing of Canadian children and youth.”

 

Thank you, K+S Potash Canada, for your commitment to our cause. Together, we can empower the young people in our communities and create lasting, meaningful change. As Bartel perfectly sums it up: Let’s build a happier, healthier future!

Team picture - Cargill

The holidays are perhaps the best time to be thank our donors and highlight what a difference they make in helping children reach their full potential. It is also a great season for Breakfast Club of Canada to look back on all that has been accomplished and think about all the work that still needs to be done. Cargill understood many years ago that food insecurity is a major problem in Canada.  

 

BCC Foundations and Corporate Partnerships Advisor Catherine Tremblay comments: “as a partner of the Club for over 10 years, Cargill’s vision is very much aligned with our organization’s. Cargill is committed to nutrition and to improving food insecurity in our communities and making a real difference. The company believes that all children should have access to nutritious food for growth and learning, and that nutrition education that builds healthy eating habits at an early age is a priority!”  

Preparing food

A purpose for connection 

For over 150 years, Cargill has remained true to the vision of William Wallace Cargill when he acquired a grain warehouse in 1865: helping farmers prosper, connecting markets and bringing consumers the products they are seeking. Known as one of Canada’s largest merchandisers and processors of meat and oilseed, the company is also involved in crop product retailing and grain handling and milling for a whole range of food possibilities.  

 

“Our purpose is to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, people and animals with the food they need to thrive” explains Alayna Hoy, Global Communications Specialist at Cargill. 

 

A path very close to Breakfast Club of Canada who operates locally, in neighbourhoods across Canada, connecting people and communities around a common cause. While Cargill combines its experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner in more than 125 countries, it supports the club’s program in Canada to ensure that the next generation has access to nutritious food so children can succeed in school and in life, one breakfast at a time.  

Preparing food

Bringing sustainable nutrition solutions 

“From the beginning, Cargill has always been committed to community engagement. It’s core to who we are. We work with partners across borders to improve sustainability, food security and nutrition.” 

 

In 2021, Cargill provided $110.5 million in total charitable contributions in 56 countries to support communities. Cargill businesses and employee-led groups partner with local civic, non-profit and non-governmental organizations on programs and projects that improve food security and nutrition; support human rights, equity and inclusion.   

 

A perfect match with Breakfast club of Canada who reaches more than half a million children in 3,362 programs throughout Canada. Thanks to a dedicated network of private and public supporters such as Cargill – BCC is able to gather resources and get closer to a common dream: feeding all Canadian children and make sure they have an equal chance to learn.


For more stories, click here.

Small and Tall artist Club

Gallea, the largest visual arts gallery of independent artists in Canada, has teamed up with Breakfast Club of Canada for the first time for a creative endeavour aimed at raising funds and shining the spotlight on professional and budding artists alike, as part of a virtual exhibition launched October 18.  

 

Gallea aims to create the largest art distribution network in the world and make local art accessible everywhere to everyone. This dedication to accessibility of opportunities resonates deeply with BCC. “We share several core values with Gallea. And working together has also opened up a whole new avenue for raising funds,” explained Catherine Tremblay, Advisor, Foundations and Corporate Partnerships.  

 

A winning collaboration between Breakfast Club of Canada and Gallea 

The whole thing started with a drawing contest, where children were asked to send in their artwork via Facebook. A total of 20 submissions were picked to inspire Canadian artists to create the selections that are now on virtual display through the Small and Tall Artists Club on the Gallea website. Half of the proceeds from the sale of these works will go to Breakfast Club of Canada.  

 

Linzi Shang, Gallea’s co-founder, is actually a former breakfast program participant herself. She has lots of great memories of the Club. “The volunteers were so nice. They smiled and took the time to talk to me. I felt seen. I felt like I mattered. It’s the kind of experience that made me feel like I really belonged here in my adopted home of Quebec,” she explained. She is particularly happy to now be giving back to BCC through this wonderful initiative.  

 

You can learn more about Linzi’s story here. 

 

Artists inspiring artists across generations 

Over 40 artists from around the country answered the call to contribute to this initiative and, as a result, get more children’s day off to a healthy start. They were given carte blanche to come up with something inspired by one of the selected children’s drawings, representing one of three themes: friendship, sharing or learning. In addition to lending their artistic talents to the exhibition, the participating artists have helped raise BCC’s public visibility and generated additional buzz for the initiative through social media.   

 

Proud parents  

The parents of our aspiring artists were proud and excited to see their children’s artistic output take on a whole new form and, in so doing, help give back to other children. “It’s amazing how it all turned out! My kids loved being part of the experience and having the opportunity to contribute to such a worthy cause!” explained Joannie, mom to Alice, Cloé and Genève. 

 

The Small and Tall Artists Club exhibition, presented in collaboration with Breakfast Club of Canada, is currently on display on Gallea’s website. Half of the proceeds from the sale of the works in the exhibition will be donated to Breakfast Club of Canada.  

 

Enjoy! 

Walmart Associate

 

Did you know that 60% of a child’s learning happens in the morning? Research has shown that a healthy breakfast to start a child’s day helps ensure they are able to thrive, learn and excel. 

But, many children in Canada arrive at school hungry. This is why, over the last 19 years, Walmart Canada has supported Breakfast Club of Canada’s programs and helped ensure children have access to a nutritious breakfast.  

 

Walmart Canada is currently running their annual national back-to-school fundraising campaign to raise money and awareness for school and community breakfast programs across the countryPaul Lethbridge, Director, Development & Donor Engagement at BCC explains: “Our partnership with Walmart Canada opens many doors for the Club. Their significant yearly funding gives us the resources to serve millions of meals on an annual basis and, through the generosity and dedication of Walmart’s associates and customers, we’re able to build the momentum, year-over-year, to help meet the escalating needs.” Since 2003, Walmart Canada has worked with Breakfast Club of Canada, donating and raising more than $55 million to help feed more than 243,000 students each day. 

Walmart Associate

Walmart Canada’s extensive philanthropy program is focused on supporting Canadian families in need, and since 1994, Walmart Canada has raised and donated more than $500 million to Canadian charities. “We’re committed to building and supporting strong communities, while inspiring our associates to give back. Our giving programs meet specific social needs, and we proudly work through our stores and associates to spark change,” explains Gaurav GuptaDirectorEnvironmental Social & Governance, Walmart Canada. He points out the strong commitment of the associates who are encouraged to engage with customers and local organizations in several ways to understand and support local needs. “Our associates are our greatest ambassadors. They have a tremendous passion for supporting worthy causes and organizations like Breakfast Club of Canada.” 

 

Making a truly national impact 

In addition to contributions through this campaign, Walmart Canada continues to be the largest corporate donor to Breakfast Club of Canada, which reaches more than 490,000 children throughout Canada, making sure they have an equal chance to learn.  Through their network of stores across the country and workforce of over 100,000 associates, Walmart Canada represents a significant awareness building opportunity for BCC. “Our mission, brand and impact are visible to millions of Canadians who shop in store and online over the duration of the campaign.  At the start of the partnership, 19 years ago, Walmart Canada’s national support laid the groundwork for BCC to spread its mission across the country to make a truly national impact.  Without Walmart’s support, more children across Canada would face food insecurity on a daily basis,” added Paul Lethbridge.  

 

Walmart’s back-to-school fundraising campaign runs until October 22, 2021 and donations can be made in more than 400 locations across Canada or on www.walmart.ca 

affirmation station

Harvest Manitoba went above and beyond in their mission to nourish children and incorporated an affirmation exercise in the Breakfast 2 Go packs for the students at the five schools they reach out to. The response has been incredible.

 

Mika Peterson, Harvest Manitoba’s Community Events Manager, shared that “the affirmations started as a way to ensure our Breakfast 2 Go students were being nourished physically and mentally with food, but also emotionally through positive affirmation. We understand that in order to have healthy children in our communities they need to be supported equally in all three ways, which is why we have included affirmation notes in the kits. It’s just a reminder that someone is thinking of you and looking out for you. Here’s a meal and a little note to make you feel cared for.”

Positive notes

Initially, the affirmation notes came from Google or Pinterest searches. One day, a group of volunteers who had come in to sort food finished early and asked if there were other ways they could help. The Harvest Manitoba team asked if they would like to prepare handwritten affirmations for the breakfast kits. The messages could be as simple as “Have a great day!” or “Enjoy your breakfast!” The volunteers happily agreed. It was intended as a one-time exercise, but students and teachers alike said how much these personal messages meant. Not only did they make students feel good, but the adult volunteers who wrote them also enjoyed the experience and were reminded of the importance of being kind to themselves as well.

Positive Notes

The impact was overwhelmingly positive. The students said the affirmations made them feel like someone cared, and they were excited to see what their message would be from week to week. The Harvest Manitoba team was glad that such a simple action was having such a powerful effect. During the holidays, Harvest Manitoba shared a social media post asking the community for affirmation submissions. Over 100 families, schools and businesses responded, thus expanding the scope of the initiative and showcasing the power of community.

 

At the end of the year, Harvest Manitoba distributed a survey to students to get their feedback about the program. One of the questions was about the affirmation notes and how they made students feel. Here are some of their heartwarming answers:

  • “I feel happy and special.”
  • “I love them. I put them up on my fridge at home. I have kept every note since last year.”
  • “What I feel when I get B2Go… HAPPY!”
  • “Kind of fun to read, the motivational ones are the best.”
  • “The notes in my B2Go kit make me feel happy.”
  • “I read them and keep them in a box.”
  • “Happy! The jokes are happy and funny and silly!”
  • “I keep them for my sister because she has been struggling and the note made her feel better.”
  • “They’re funny so they make me laugh!”
  • “Makes me smile, it’s cool that you can tell other kids wrote them.”
  • “Confident and awesome.”
  • “I got a lot of them. It feels good to hear nice words.”
  • “The notes in the bags make me feel encouraged to make something.”
  • “Happy, very happy and I feel like I should give someone else the same note.”
  • “The notes I get in my Breakfast 2 Go bags make my day even better and it gives me a big smile. I remember last year I would always collect the notes and give them to my family members.”
  • “I want to know who writes them and I want to write them for other kids.”
  • “It makes me feel really good. Every time I’m in class I look at the notes and it helps me work faster.”
  • “They make me feel like somebody is giving me confidence :).”
  • “It actually makes me feel good because I know I have some food to eat.”

 

When asked what she loves the most about the affirmations, Mika said:

“I love that our students feel cared for, that the affirmations act as a little reminder that they have a whole community supporting them. It is the best part of my job seeing people in the community come together to support one another. Whether that’s supporting Breakfast 2 Go through funds, food, time packing the kits or time spent creating an affirmation note, it truly has such a huge impact.“

 

The whole experience once again shows that every bit counts. Even a small donation or investment of time can have a lasting impact.