Tag Archive for: Impact

Breakfast Club of Canada believes that a school day should begin with a wholesome, healthy breakfast. Which is what we help provide to more than 243,000 students in 1,800 schools across the country every morning.

As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we would like to invite you to help us draw attention to the most important meal of the day in a fun and whimsical way!

Throughout the month of November, we’re asking you to take a picture or video of yourself as you enjoy your breakfast and share it on social media. Maybe you’re sitting down with your family or at work. Perhaps you’re grabbing a quick bite during your morning routine or on your way out the door. Either way, we’re curious to know how Canadians from coast to coast are getting their day off to a nutritious and delicious start. Be creative and #ShareYourBreakfast moment with us!

Don’t forget to include the hashtag #ShareYourBreakfast and tag Breakfast Club of Canada in your post so we can share it too!

Children sitting in a classroom

Every year, we celebrate World Children’s Day on November 20 to promote the rights of our youngest citizens.

But why for only one day?

What if we could bring these core values to life all year round?

And what if one organization was already doing just that?

Breakfast Club of Canada is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. So many years, so many volunteers helping to reveal the light in every child, no matter how deeply hidden it might be.

So many years of commitment on the part of the Club’s co-founder, Judith Barry, to filling every child’s belly and unlocking every child’s potential.

The Club delivers more than daily nutrition: it creates a nurturing, stimulating environment where children have a voice, where they can develop their confidence and where they can relax and be themselves.

Making sure children’s rights are being respected means building positive relationships. Taking the time to listen to them and find out who they are and what they dream of is just as nourishing as a healthy breakfast. Children are strong. They are resilient. They are people in their own right. And they are poised to take on the world.

It’s up to us to make these stars shine bright by giving them what they need to reach the sky.

Judith knows this – and knows this well. Talking about the Club and the kids they serve with someone as passionate as she is, it’s easy to get caught up in her excitement and the drive she has when it comes to creating caring school communities where children share more than food around the same table.

Judith Barry, Co-Founder and Director, Impact & Sustainable Solutions, with a volunteer

As she points out so eloquently, children are the leaders of tomorrow – but they’re also playing a key role today. Youth engagement activities helps young people find their way and make a contribution. Kids may not yet be old enough to vote, but they are entitled to have and express their views and to be listened to. As adults, it is our responsibility to show them how meaningful their opinion is to us and how important it is to our community.

Let’s give our kids more room to grow and thrive. Let’s include them in the conversation.

Let’s encourage them to get involved in their community at every level, no matter how big or small the contribution. Because those who are leading the way now are bound to do the same in the future.

Where once we naively thought that only adults could volunteer with Breakfast Club of Canada, we now have more than 10,000 children and youth among our ranks, giving of their time to make a difference in the lives of other young people. The Club: for kids and with kids.

This dedication to others is a thing of beauty. We have so much to learn from this inspirational next generation.

We can’t be afraid to do more, and do better. We have to dare to keep our stars shining bright.

In an ideal world, World Children’s Day would not have to exist.

In an ideal world, Breakfast Club of Canada would not have to exist.

In an ideal world, if Judith didn’t already exist, we would have to invent her.

Her energy and her passion are contagious. We have the power, and the duty, to make these kids shine in an endless variety of ways.

One little piece of dark chocolate later, the stars I could sense while she was talking are still twinkling away in my mind. They are whispering in my ear that we can all do better.

What are we waiting for to make the stars shine?

Renee Merrifield smiling and sitting on black couch with T-R-I-B-E posters behind her

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, Breakfast Club of Canada would like to pay tribute to our female leaders who help make sure we do everything we can for children. We are fortunate to have a strong, driven and dedicated group of women moving our organization forward and helping to shatter the glass ceiling for future generations.

One of them is Renee Merrifield. Not only has she been on our Board of Directors for the past 12 years, but she also became the first woman to take on the role of chair in the fall of 2019.


Chair of Breakfast Club of Canada’s Board of Directors
Founder and CEO of Troika Developments Inc.


Here are a few excerpts from her inspiring and thought-provoking message to the Club’s employees shortly after her appointment:

“As I was growing up, I watched classmates not have enough food to eat. I found out because several of them would ask to come to my house for supper. My parents always welcomed everyone with open arms and a full plate of food. I see now those same classmates have succeeded incredibly in life, and I know that it was because they had access to food – through school programs like the Club’s, as well as philanthropists like my parents.”

Renee at the breakfast program of Chief Tomat Elementary School (Kelowna, BC).

“Later on, I continued to learn some major life lessons as I travelled to other parts of the world. My experiences helped define who I have become. I learned the importance of listening to your gut instinct and never giving up. I learned to advocate and give a voice to those in need and to do everything you can to improve things that can be improved. Above all, I learned to be courageous.”

This same spirit of determination is what makes Renee a leading entrepreneur. She was named to the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 list three years in a row (2017, 2018 and 2019).

What advice does Renee have for today’s young women?

“As women, we must help ourselves become everything we can be, elevating one another and pushing the envelope. We have to be authentic and do our best, whatever we take on. And if our best is enough to be recognized by the people around us, so much the better.”


Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Renee and all the women who have made the Club’s cause their own.

Happy International Women’s Day!


A big thank-you to Laetitia Lerond for the lovely message she posted recently on Instagram.


As I was sipping on my cold tea #mumlife watching my little guy at play, I thought back to the kids I was serving breakfast to this time last year. Right before the Easter weekend.

These kids leave home in the morning with an empty stomach. But Breakfast Club of Canada is there at their school to offer them a balanced breakfast before classes start.

That day was a celebration: we were serving up crêpes and every student got an Easter egg on their way out.

They filled me with such joy and energy. It was a beautiful day.

They laughed at my French accent and were fascinated by my swollen belly. They told me their stories. Some even talked me into giving them a second crêpe…

So as I drank my cold tea and watched my little guy entertaining himself, my heart ached for those kids, as I wondered what was on their plate these days.

The Club’s funds are being redistributed to high-risk communities and partners who are well placed to respond to the most pressing needs for food.

You can make a difference.
You can make a donation.


Founded 26 years ago, Food for Thought is a small nonprofit in Kelowna, British Columbia, doing big things to eliminate hunger, one child at a time. Prior to the current pandemic, they provided breakfast to 1,600 children in 30 schools in Central Okanagan, to which the Club contributes, in addition to a backpack program that allows children to take home food for the weekends.

Now they have merged these initiatives to create food packages to be distributed in over 30 schools. As schools are spread throughout the neighbourhoods, using this network has the advantage of being easy to get to for parents who may not have access to a convenient means of transportation.

Food for Thought is making sure food packages continue to be delivered to each school, so that parents and students can pick up a package each week. With people lining up by 1 p.m., every donation is claimed within minutes. According to the Assistant Superintendent, there have been lots of positive stories. He has received many emails, and there have been parents in tears, as they did not think the food would continue once schools closed.

We cannot thank Food for Thought and their volunteers enough! Your time is invaluable, and we cannot overstate how much good it is doing for children and families.

Schools Tell Us the Difference Our Help Makes


Across the country, through the COVID-19 Emergency Fund, Breakfast Club of Canada collaborates with community organizations to ensure children receive the nutrition they need during this crisis. Since schools closed a few weeks ago, the Club rolled up its sleeves to find solutions to reach children. Stay in touch for new stories on our #LocalHeroes!

Your donation can help make a difference – right now.


Following the provincial government’s decision to reopen elementary schools outside Greater Montreal, we have adjusted our approach to comply with public health requirements so that students can still enjoy a healthy breakfast in a nurturing, familiar setting. The changes we have made help ensure that food items can be distributed with minimal preparation and handling.

In Quebec, most schools receive support from Breakfast Club of Canada in the form of food shipped directly to them from our warehouse in Boucherville. With the cooperation of our wonderful partners, we have adapted our approach to bring individually packaged cold breakfasts to be served to every participating classroom. Of the schools who responded to our offer to resume breakfast program operations, 75% have decided to go ahead.

We know there are bound to be some hiccups and we are adjusting as we go. We will ask schools to share their success stories and the challenges they have encountered along the way to help us get ready for the 2020–2021 school year.

For further details on our adapted programs, please see our Toolkit – Breakfast Program Adapted to COVID-19 Protocols at the School’s Corner section of our website.