Home Blog May 2015 Addressing Child Hunger

Addressing Child Hunger

Addressing Child Hunger
The numbers around child hunger in Canada are staggering. Each year an estimated 1.1 million children face food insecurity in communities across Canada. 

A critical issue
The issue of adequate nourishment is particularly important in the younger years, when physical, emotional, and intellectual development set the stage for life to come. A hungry child loses out, not just today, but for the rest of her life. It is therefore critical that we as a nation do more to address this problem, which has an enormous detrimental impact on our society.
Finding solutions
Food Banks Canada is able able to reach into every community across Canada and support ground-level solutions that are making a real difference in the lives of children. At the national level, we are engaged in finding long-term solutions through our advocacy work. At the local level, we actively support our Provincial Associations and Affiliate food banks through food sharing and granting programs.
Diverse programs
Food Banks Canada currently operates a number of programs  to help children in need. For example, the Mission: Kitchen Kids Program, funded by Unilever and RBC Foundation, offers grants to food banks for programming to help kids learn about cooking & nutrition, ensuring that young people develop healthy eating habits that will carry them forward into healthy lives. This grant has funded a number of innovative programs, such as:

• Project CHEF. In partnership with Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Project CHEF received funding bring food and cooking education to area classrooms, educating 1,500 kids and 1,000 parents. 

• Fresh From the Farm. Salvation Army Penticton was able to expand this youth program, which offers hands-on harvesting, preserving, and growing lessons to 40 youth who are served by the food bank in Penticton. 

Interfaith Food Bank. This Lethbridge organization received support to expand their child and youth cooking classes to the outdoors. Kids pick food from the garden, learn about healthy cooking and then prepare and share meals together.

“The Mission: Kitchen Kids Program provides an opportunity to reach young people in Canadian communities both large and small, and provide them with the information and skills to make healthy food choices that will lead to an improvement in their well-being,” says Elizabeth Benczkowski, Donations Manager, RBC. 
Working weekends
While many schools have food programs that offer meals for kids in need, there is a gap on the weekends when support isn't available. Through a new Food Banks Canada project, food banks in three Saskatchewan communities delivered packs containing nutritious, child-friendly food to kids in need. One student told his teacher he was excited that it was Friday, not because of a special weekend activity, but because “today I get my food pack for the weekend!”

One issue, many solutions 
That fact that children are going hungry in a country as wealthy as ours is an unacceptable yet preventable situation that must be addressed now. 

“Food Banks Canada has the capacity and structure to address the need and resolve the issue of child hunger, and with corporate partners to support us, we can make a difference,” says Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada.

The following donors made financial contributions to our child hunger program(s).
  • RBC
  • Mondeléz Canada 
  • Loblaw
  • Huggies

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Hunger Facts



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