It’s a grim fact that one in three children in Canada go to school hungry, but The Grocery Foundation is aiming to change this reality through its Toonies for Tummies fundraising campaign.
“Exactly one week from today, kids across the country will be going back to school, and because of the work and support of many of the folks in this room and their teams, we’re going to be in a position to provide two million healthy breakfasts to children across the country this school year, said the Foundation’s executive director Shaun McKenna, at a breakfast event in Mississauga, Ont. on Tuesday (Aug. 29) morning to kick off the 2024 Toonies for Tummies campaign and drum up support for the program.
Last year, Toonies for Tummies raised nearly $3.7 million for school breakfast programs and the Foundation is hoping to exceed $4 million during the 2024 campaign. “We’ve had incredible momentum over the last number of years. We’ve been raising more money and we’re currently supporting over 3,000 programs across the country," said McKenna. "Our funding is vital to these programs. It sometimes can be the difference between them keeping their doors open to the end of the school year or making sure they can keep their doors open five days a week and serve nutritious food.”
Despite the money being raised to date, high inflation and food insecurity means the work must continue to support these vital programs, said McKenna, adding, “and every sponsorship counts.”
Sandra Sanderson, Empire
“We at Empire, are so proud to support Toonies for Tummies,” said Sandra Sanderson, Empire’s chief marketing officer, at the breakfast event, noting that across the company’s banners, $5 million has been raised since 2020.
“Our teammates take enormous pride in supporting this cause because they know that 100% of the funds raised go to supporting programs in their communities. And we are excited to further deepen this commitment by adding Farm Boy to the campaign in 2024.” The addition of the grocery banner will expand the program’s national footprint to 1,475 stores.
Launched more than 20 years ago, the Toonies for Tummies program raises crucial funds for school breakfast programs by asking grocery shoppers to donate $2 at store checkouts during the campaign. Donations are also raised online year round. For more information visit groceryfoundation.com