I Can for Kids Foundation Inc. is a Calgary-based registered charity whose mission is to end summer childhood hunger in Calgary. Inspired by Sutton Garner, who at the young age of 11 learned about the impact of childhood hunger, our story is one of a community working together to feed local kids, without barriers or limitations, so they can reach their full potential. With Sutton as a model, all who work alongside I Can for Kids know that one person can make a difference and feel empowered to make one themselves.
Through a network of over 30 trusted frontline social service agency partners, I Can for Kids delivers child-friendly food packs, fresh produce, peanut butter and an assortment of other nutritious items to children and youth experiencing emergency, temporary or chronic food insecurity. Together, we help vulnerable kids get the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow throughout the summer months, giving them the worry-free summer they deserve and a healthier start to their school year.
There are many ways to join us in the fight to end summer childhood hunger. $5 I Can for Kids food packs are available for purchase at all Calgary Save On Foods stores during the month of May, or you can donate online anytime at www.icanforkids.ca. We invite you to consider becoming a monthly donor, a corporate sponsor, hosting a FUNdraising event, or designating I Can for Kids as beneficiary of your company, team, community or club event.
At I Can for Kids, we are mindful that our food pack contents need to be healthful choices and the selection nutritionally balanced to support children’s developing minds and bodies. We work closely with our agency partners and two registered dieticians, one specializing in pediatric nutrition, to thoughtfully design food packs that are child-friendly, while offering nutritional value, variety and choice. We supplement our food packs with peanut butter, fresh produce and an assortment of other nutritious items when and where possible.
Children have special characteristics and needs for healthy development and nutrition is vital to their success. Hungry kids are more likely to experience serious short- and long-term health issues, developmental delays, and social, behavioral and emotional problems. Childhood hunger has even been linked to significant health problems in adulthood. Summer hunger can delay a child’s academic performance by up to two months at the start of the school year.
School nutrition programs play a critical role in helping children build healthy minds and bodies. Sadly, the majority of low-income kids who depend on subsidized nutrition programs during the school year do not have the same access to a free meal during the summer break. Rising food prices, increased child care costs over the summer, and back-to-school expenses make it increasingly difficult for parents to provide basic needs for their children. It can be a desperate feeling for many. Missing out on necessary nutrition during the summer can delay a child’s academic performance by up to two months at the start of the school year. I Can for Kids helps ease their worries by providing nutritional support at a time when few options exist.
There’s no way to really know how many kids need our help. No one agency can keep track and, for a number of reasons, many hungry households do not report as food insecure. But what we do know, is that over 5,000 Calgary kids rely on school nutrition programs every day in Calgary, with many more who do not access food programs, or are provided food in their classrooms by their teachers. Over the past few years, we have seen a steady and concerning increase in demand for such programs, a crucial indicator of the number of kids who will need reliable access to a nutrition program during the summer. With the help of our generous supporters, I Can for Kids supported over 24,000 kids in 2019.
Yes! I Can for Kids Foundation Inc. is a registered charity in good standing with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and issues official receipts for income tax purposes for qualified donations in accordance with CRA regulations. Our charitable registration number is 788073294RR0001.
We appreciate and respect each and every donor who invests in our mission to ending summer childhood hunger in Calgary and abide by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Standards and Donors Bill of Rights. We are very diligent in sourcing gift-in-kind products and services to support our mission. By doing so, we are able to keep our operating costs to a minimum, therefore maximizing the impact of our work. In 2018, our annual cost to raise a dollar was $.08, our administrative expenses were exceptionally low at 9%, and 80% of gross contributions directly supported our summer food program.
In 2019, we expect to raise $380,000 in charitable cash and gift in kind donations, estimating 77% of gross contributions directly benefiting our summer food program. Our cost to raise a dollar for our annual fundraising campaigns is estimated at $.08. Proceeds will be used where needed most unless otherwise designated by the donor. A tax receipt is issued for all qualified donations in accordance with CRA regulations.
I Can for Kids values your support and your privacy. Donor information is used to process donations – we do not rent, sell or trade your information to any third party. We do, however, like to keep in touch to let you know how your support has made an impact on hungry kids in our community, and share information about opportunities and events that support our work. We encourage you to subscribe to receive updates on what we’re up to and how you can help make a difference.
Feeding Hungry Kids During the Summer Takes A Year of Working Together.
Though our story culminates each summer, feeding Calgary’s hungry kids is a story that takes all year to tell. Each September, we begin a new fund to feed kids the following summer. With demand in our city growing, for summer 2020 we need to raise even more to provide thousands of food packs to Calgary's hungry kids.