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Toonies for Tummies goes beyond asking for change

Campaign includes TV partnerships and industry summit

The Grocery Foundation is going beyond asking for toonies for its 2016 Toonies for Tummies campaign, which takes place Feb. 4 to 18.

The campaign, which raises money for children’s breakfast programs in Ontario, includes a first-of-its kind “Kids Feeding Kids” Summit that will bring together industry leaders and 14 youth ambassadors from across Ontario. They’ll discuss the issue of school nutrition and share ideas about what more can be done to combat child hunger locally. According to The Grocery Foundation, one in six Canadian children go to school hungry.

Toonies for Tummies, which is supported by grocery retailers and CPG companies, raises money by asking shoppers to donate $2 at participating grocers. While the 2016 campaign is still focused on raising as much money as possible, The Grocery Foundation felt there was an opportunity to address the issue over the longer term.

“We’re hoping the youth ambassadors can bring suggestions on what can work specifically in their communities,” said Michelle Scott, executive director of The Grocery Foundation, a charitable foundation that represents leaders from Canada’s grocery industry. “We can hear about what programs need, which will allow us to customize what we can do in each situation.”

The summit is slated to take place in the Greater Toronto Area at the start of the campaign.

Also new to the 2016 campaign is a partnership with CityTV’s Breakfast Television. It will include an on-air segment and media buy that will profile sponsors and retail partners, as well as a contest for viewers who will have the chance to win gift cards. (CityTV and Canadian Grocer are both owned by Rogers Media.)

The campaign will also be supported by PR, social media, in-store marketing, and editorial support from and Public relations is being handled by Toronto-based Breakthrough Communications.

The Grocery Foundation is also bringing back its “Toonie Tracker,” which was introduced last year. On the microsite, donors can enter their postal code to see the location of the local schools their toonies help. A 2013 survey sponsored by the foundation found that 88% of Canadians are inclined to give more to a charity if they know where the money is going.

Every year, The Grocery Foundation sets a fundraising goal of $1 million, but it has yet to hit that mark. In 2013, the campaign raised $765,000 and this year it raised more than $850,000.

“I think it’s good to have a goal of a million,” says Scott. “If we ever get to it, I’ll be ecstatic.”

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