Toonies for Tummies has launched its 2020 campaign. The expanded campaign marks the return of participating Sobeys banners in Ontario and new banners in Western Canada, including Thrifty Foods, IGA, Safeway, Sobeys and Foodland.
The grocery retailers join Metro Inc., Food Basics, Longo's and 12 independents in Ontario and in Western Canada. In Western Canada, the grocers include Save-On-Foods, Buy-Low and Nester's Market.
For 2020, 1,100 stores will participate in the campaign and collect donations until March 7.
Shaun McKenna, executive director of The Grocery Foundation, says the goal is to raise $1.8 million, to provide for 900,000 nutritious breakfasts and mid-morning snacks for hungry students, many who are facing food insecurity.
“In the face of this growing need, we are so thankful that the grocery community has come together with a record number of sponsors and participating retailer locations. As always, we stand to have the greatest impact together.”
The 2020 #Toonies4Tummies campaign follows a report and research underwritten by The Foundation, published by the C.D. Howe Institute, that notes student nutrition programs lack sufficient access to the necessary resources.
“In essence programs that help food insecure children are themselves funding insecure,” says McKenna.
Funding in Ontario will benefit more than 1.5 million children who each day have access to more than 4,600 programs across the province. There are many programs across Ontario that benefit from, and require, Toonies for Tummies support to help keep them open and provide the desired range of nutritious foods.
McKenna says that more than 35,000 students in Western Canada at 494 programs, supported by Breakfast Club of Canada, the Foundation’s partner in the west, will benefit from funds. Since expanding to the west, Toonies for Tummies has helped take a number of western-based student nutrition programs off funding wait lists. “We’re having a material impact,” adds McKenna. “Campaign sponsors will be preparing breakfast in the west alongside our western-based retailers in the near future. It’s wonderful when we can see the impact firsthand.”