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!