A great tool to fast-track the development of the Club and its partner organizations, help more than 1 million young Canadians who go to school on an empty stomach
VANCOUVER, BC–With one in four Canadian children going to school without breakfast in 2019 – or one in two in Indigenous communities – more than 1 million students across the country are at risk of starting their day hungry.1
Outraged by these statistics, Breakfast Club of Canada has decided to take action to bring about change, starting within its own organization. It has therefore spearheaded an in-depth study on the social impact of its work in Canada in an effort to make the most of the resources at its disposal, in synergy with its partner stakeholders.
Since its inception 25 years ago, Breakfast Club of Canada has been working with multiple organizations to develop school breakfast programs to fight food insecurity and spur positive, lasting change for children. Despite these efforts, the situation continues to be alarming in Canada, the only G7 country not to have a school food program.
It is important to note that hunger is not always linked to scarcity. Besides a shortage of resources and access to food, there are any number of reasons a child may not have breakfast, among them a long bus ride to school, a rushed morning routine, a shortage of healthy food at home, a lack of appetite when getting out of bed, extracurricular activities before school and family emergencies. School breakfast programs reduce the risk of hunger and improve nutrition while contributing to children’s socioemotional wellness and mental health. These conditions play a predominant role in children’s ability to stay focused in class and succeed academically.
In the effort to make the most out of every donation, as well as leverage partner support to close in on the goal of serving more than 1 million breakfasts every morning in schools across the country, the Club is undertaking an extensive study on its societal influence. Led by the Credo consulting firm, the impact study will consist of an extensive three-year process in order to create a masterplan that meets the nutrition needs of at-risk children in schools and ensures the same quality of service is delivered across Canada. The process will begin with consultations with key student nutrition stakeholders. This will be followed by an evaluation of the various strategic levers and the quantification of the required means. The Club will then begin implementing its new plan, complete with performance indicators that will be assessed annually. The study will be an invaluable source of information in streamlining future initiatives and will allow the Club and its partner organizations to broaden their impact in the coming years.
As part of its partnership with the Club and its ongoing commitment to fighting childhood poverty in Canada, belairdirect sponsored the study. “Breakfast Club of Canada’s mission is essential to many children across Canada,” said Émilie Dutil-Bruneau, Director, Communications, Social Responsibility and Employer Brand at belairdirect. “At belairdirect, we care deeply about supporting organizations that make a difference in our society. We are proud to work with the Club to help them in their crucial mission to fight food insecurity. Funding this impact study is a key component of our partnership, and we see it as the best way to encourage the Club to continue its work. We are very pleased to contribute to effecting positive change.”
“The impact study is a vital step forward in our development, but it is not enough to ensure that all children at risk have access to a wholesome, nutritious breakfast,” said Judith Barry, Co-Founder of Breakfast Club of Canada and Director, Impact and Sustainable Solutions. In Canada, school breakfast programs are backed by various stakeholders. This network, including Breakfast Club of Canada, supports thousands of breakfast programs in high-risk areas, all of which are provided on a universal basis and accessible to the entire school population. As a result, they are open to children who are facing food insecurity, living in low-income households or children that simply can benefit from a healthy breakfast. Existing programs are chronically underfunded, preventing stakeholders from being able to meet the needs of new schools looking to join the Club.
“School nutrition must be a broader society-wide undertaking supported by stakeholders from the public, corporate, charitable and community sectors. We are hard at work bringing everyone together to create lasting solutions and reach our objective faster,” concluded Judith Barry.
The Club’s funding increasingly mirrors the diversity of stakeholders dedicated to the cause. A significant proportion of the work it does is made possible by private donations from partners and individuals. Because of these contributions, the Club now has the capacity to serve over 243,000 breakfasts every morning to 1,809 clubs from coast to coast.
About Breakfast Club of Canada
Breakfast Club of Canada is a charitable organization that provides funding, equipment, training and support to school breakfast programs across the country. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Club is dedicated to ensuring every child starts their day with a nutritious morning meal, in a safe and secure environment. Founded in Quebec in 1994, Breakfast Club of Canada is present in 1,809 schools from coast to coast feeding over 243,500 children every school morning. To learn more visit breakfastclubcanada.org or find us on social media.
1 Sources: Public Health Agency of Canada, 2015; BMC Public Health, 2014; World Health Organization, 2012.