How kids can help kids- The Toonies for Tummies Program

This year, Josie and I are proud to be a part of the Toonies for Tummies campaign. In case you are not familiar with this program organized by the Grocery Foundation, Toonies for Tummies is an effort, raising funds and awareness for student nutrition in Ontario and in Western Canada.

Between February 1-21st, the monies raised from your donations at Longo’s (other grocery stores have different dates) will help provide healthy snacks and meals to kids in schools across Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Over 1.1 million children stand to benefit.

This year the goal of Toonies for Tummies is to raise $1,200,000 with 100% of proceeds staying in the local community. To help kick-start this effort, this weekend (February 2nd and 3rd) Longo’s is generously matching all donations, to a maximum of $10,000.

As moms, Josie and I know how important it is to regularly feed our kids healthy and nutritious foods. We both make conscious efforts to have well-balanced meals and snacks. We try each and every day to send our kids to school with a full belly and a lunch bag brimming with wholesome foods. We don’t always succeed (I sent chocolate chip muffins one day and sometimes Josie forgets to pack a vegetable).

But we try.

Why? Because we know students, who have nourishing meals are better able to learn (who can concentrate when their stomach is growling), have fewer absences (healthy food, healthy body), and social behavior improves (causing fewer disruptions in the classroom).

Sadly, there are students across Canada and the GTA who are unable to afford this basic need. Kids from all grades who go to school hungry and come home to an empty fridge. It is not for lack of love or trying; but rather for lack of finances. And anyone who has spent time recently in a grocery store knows, prices are going up.  A 2017 survey found that the average cost to feed a family of four was $220 a week. That would require an annual salary of $100,000. Far above the national family income of just over $70,000. A shortfall indeed.

But that is where Longo’s and Toonies for Tummies comes in.  For years, Longo’s has been supporting this initiative, helping to raise over $530,000. This support has provided almost 300,000 healthy meals and snacks to kids throughout our communities. These meals are helping those most vulnerable and with your support, we can together grow this program so more can be provided. These kids are our future and they deserve to have a well-balanced and wholesome nutritional intake. Together we can make that happen, right here in our communities.

As moms, as your friend and as influencers, we urge you to drop a toonie or two when you go shopping at your local Longo’s and be a part of the #ToonieChallenge. Your donation of just two dollars will help someone’s child succeed. You can track your toonie online at www.tooniesfortummies.ca

Below are some helpful mealtime hints for school-age children:

Always serve breakfast, even if it has to be “on the run.” Some ideas for a quick, healthy breakfast include:

  • Fruit
  • Milk
  • Cheese toast
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal

Take advantage of big appetites after school by serving healthy snacks, such as:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables and dip
  • Yogurt
  • Turkey or chicken sandwich
  • Cheese and crackers

 

*This post was sponsored by The Grocery Foundation, however all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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