President's Choice Children's Charity, established and funded in part by Loblaw Companies Limited, has taken immediate steps to get food to Canada's most vulnerable children, as in-school and after-school nutrition programs have closed nationwide due to COVID-19.
The charity, Canada's largest charitable funder of in-school nutrition programs, is immediately releasing $10 million in grants to program partners nationwide to drive new approaches to giving children safe access to food. This includes an additional $1 million in emergency funding to help Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and its 700 community sites to take on this challenge and address the increase in need.
"For hungry children who rely on school for food, the coming weeks will be hard," says Sarah Davis the charity's chair and president of Loblaw Companies Limited. "We make sure Canada's most vulnerable children can attend school well-fed and ready to learn. When school is out, hunger remains. We need to keep serving these children, but we need to find new ways."
Partner organizations across the country including individual schools ($3.4M), Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada($4.775M), Pathways to Education ($1M), Community Food Centres Canada ($700k) and a number of smaller local programs ($177k) have been encouraged by the charity to redirect all 2020 funds from discontinued in-school programs to new programs and methods for feeding kids.
In the average school year, our funding helps provide 72 million meals to students," said Davis. "By giving our schools and partners flexibility right now, we're encouraging them to do what's best for their families and communities – including new methods like grab-and-go snacks, community-led emergency food initiatives, or by giving out gift cards directly to struggling families."
Although the cancellation of fundraising activities due to COVID-19 may present some challenges, President's Choice Children's Charity is anticipating a return to normal with its usual in-school nutrition granting this Fall.
President's Choice Children's Charity was founded in 1989 and has granted $190 million benefitting more than five millionn Canadian children.