Home Read Our Blog July 2016 What will happen after the bell rings?

What will happen after the bell rings?

What will happen after the bell rings?
Most kids look forward to the delicious fun and freedom of summer vacation, signaled by the final bell of the school year.

But for children from food insecure households, there’s much less to look forward to, because meal programs at their school are no longer available and their families are challenged to replace them. This has significant consequences for kids.

Energy to play

As part of their Breakfasts for Better Days initiative, Kellogg Canada conducted a survey of parents from low to middle income families which found that many forego sports and community events in order to pay for food instead, and 40% even avoid having their children’s friends over because there’s no food to share.

Plus, hungry kids are less inclined to go outside and play.

All of this means they miss out on important social and developmental aspects of childhood.
Food Banks Canada’s new national child hunger program, After the Bell, helps fill this gap during the summer months.


Over the course of July and August the After the Bell program — co-sponsored by our partners, The French’s Food Company, Kellogg Canada and Cargil, with additional product donations from Clover Leaf Seafoods,  will distribute 12,000 food packs to communities in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The packs are filled with items such as fruit cups, oatmeal, granola bars, and nut-free spreads. Participating food banks also receive money to purchase perishable items such as fruit and vegetables to supplement the packs. Each pack contains 10 mini-meals designed to be both nutritious and kid-friendly. Examples of mini-meal combos include:

  • hummus with crackers and a veggie
  • tuna salad with crackers and a fruit

  • cereal bar with a fruit cup and veggie snack

June Muir, CEO of Unemployed Help Centre of Windsor, whose Community Kitchen is partnering with United Way to distribute 400 packs a week in Windsor, Essex, and Leamington, says she couldn’t have been more delighted when she opened the first shipment and saw the contents of the packs.

“These are highly nutritious items that kids love,” says June. “These children don’t usually receive these types of foods.”

Summer lifeline
Packs are delivered to designated food banks in Ontario and Saskatchewan, who then distribute through existing children’s programs or directly to the kids.

Erin Katerynych, Executive Director, Battlefords District Food & Resource Centre, says her organization is partnering with the City of North Battleford’s Parks and Recreation to distribute the packs through supervised summer playground programs at four locations.

Wes Clark, Executive Director, Prince Albert Share-A-Meal Food Bank, says these packs are an enormous boon to children’s programs in his region, where childhood poverty is particularly high. “These packs mean so much. Our programs have no food budgets, and the kids arrive hungry, so organizers have to use program money to buy food,” explains Wes. “Thanks to the packs, we can put those resources back into the actual programs as they were intended.”

After the Bell is also an important lifeline because food bank supplies run very low during the summer months. Many people go on vacation, causing a significant decline in donations.

“Part of French’s Brand Promise is a commitment to community. With more than 300,000 kids turning to a food bank every month, helping kids have access to healthy food during the challenging summer months is just one of the ways that French’s is working with Food Banks Canada to eliminate hunger in Canada,” says Elliott Penner, President and CEO, The French’s Food Company.

To learn more about the impact of hunger in the summer, click here for Kellogg’s Breakfasts for Better Days Summer Hunger Survey Results.

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of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)