To be honest, I hadn’t heard of the Breakfast Clubs of Canada before I began working on this blog post. Seeing as my daughter is only two-and-a-half, she’s still at the point where breakfast is consumed in stages, at home.
I guess I’ve always taken breakfast for granted. Or at least I’ve had the liberty of working from home and being able to realize when I’ve forgotten to eat this vital meal and quickly scarf down some toast and juice around 10am to calm my empty (and by then unhappy) stomach.
My daughter is extremely lucky that her parents are willing to fight to ensure her belly is full before school. But what about all the kids who don’t have access to healthy breakfast food? Or whose parents aren’t around in the morning to ensure they’re well fed?
Have you ever stopped to think about how many kids actually go to school on an empty stomach?
I was shocked when I read the stats provided by Breakfast Clubs of Canada (a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing services and funding to school breakfast programs). In Canada, they say, one in 10 children, or a total of 637,000 kids, live in poverty and are at risk of starting their day without food. Currently, there are about 1,000 school breakfast programs across the country funded by Breakfast Clubs of Canada and Club des petits déjeuners du Québec.
And, it’s the dedicated corporate partners/donors of this program that make it such a huge success. Take Minute Maid for example. The juice company (and its parent company Coca-Cola) has been supporting Breakfast Clubs of Canada and their work in schools across Canada for the past 15 years through more than $5 million dollars in product donations and financial support. This year, in time for the back-to-school-season, Minute Maid has announced a commitment of $1.5 million dollars worth of 100% juice over the next three years.
I love hearing about large companies like Minute Maid focusing on “doing good” in ways that really matter. Not only do Breakfast Clubs of Canada and Club des petits déjeuners du Québec feed hungry kids’ bellies, but in doing so they bring about improved attendance and punctuality, renewed interest in school subjects, improved behaviour and concentration, and better social interactions. I know how hard it can be to function on an empty stomach. It’s clear to see how vital a program like this really is for Canadian kids.
Way to go Minute Maid and Breakfast Clubs of Canada! As my mom always said "breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!"
At most schools, breakfast club is open to any student. Those who can’t afford breakfast and those who don’t have time to eat because they travel long distances to get to school or have parents who start work early and aren’t around in the mornings. The praise for the program speaks for itself:
Says one principal, Patty Mardero, from Sudbury Ontario: “The support your organization has given us is a blessing to our students! We receive phone calls and feedback daily from parents and students expressing their gratitude for the breakfast program. I cannot tell you how grateful we are!”
If this is something you are interested in you can donate to Breakfast Clubs of Canada online or head to the supermarket and buy Minute Maid 100% juice products before September 16th. When you do so, the company will give a portion of sales to this very important cause.
This is proudly sponsored by our friends at Minute Maid.
When Canadians buy any one of participating Minute Maid 100% juice products until September 16, 2012 the company will give a portion of sales to Breakfast Clubs of Canada. (Up to a maximum of $150,000). Learn more about Minute Maid's partnership with the Breakfast Clubs of Canada.