Registration is now open for The Grocery Foundation’s Agents of Change (AOC) program, which aims to raise awareness among high-school students about the positive impact of student nutrition programs.
The foundation launched AOC in 2015, and held the first Agents of Change Summit in Toronto that year. Students from across Ontario made presentations to grocery industry members about the nutrition programs in their high schools, which helped the industry identify where programs could be enhanced or refined.
In 2016 and 2017, the program went live at the school level, with students working to raise awareness about issues such as food insecurity and advocating for school-nutrition programs, as well as holding fundraisers for The Grocery Foundation’s Toonies for Tummies campaign. The annual campaign raises money for children’s breakfast programs by asking grocery shoppers to donate $2 at the checkout.
“Toonies for Tummies helps over one million students each year in Ontario alone,” said Shaun McKenna, executive director of The Grocery Foundation, in a press release. “Many students who benefit from our funding are high-school-age and are actively engaged in CSR and civic-minded activities and fundraising. Our AOC program helps connect the dots between the student nutrition programs that we are supporting, often in their school, and students’ desire to give back.”
For this year’s program, The Grocery Foundation introduced a leadership training component to AOC, in partnership with ME to WE. It included training on the topic of food insecurity in Canada, and armed participants with an action plan to lead fundraising in their school.
As in 2018, training for the 2019 program will take place in the Greater Toronto Area at the WE Centre for Learning and will be delivered virtually for students outside the GTA.
To date, approximately 30 students have taken part in the Agents of Change program.