We believe no child should go hungry, especially over the summer.
In 2015, when I was 11-years old, my mom and I were watching an episode of Good Morning America. On the show that day, they featured a story about summer hunger and how thousands of children in the U.S. who counted on their school nutrition programs during the school year, worried about where their next meal would come from during the summer break.
Even though the story only lasted a few minutes, it was powerful and it made a lasting impression on me. These kids were hungry, and it impacted every part of their life.
It was my first experience understanding the consequences of poverty and I wondered if the same thing was true in Calgary. When so many kids like me were out having fun, how many others suffered in silence?
Summer hunger just wasn’t something we ever thought about.
Sadly, after doing a little research, I quickly learned that thousands of kids who count on their school nutrition programs during the school year in Calgary do not have the same access to a free meal during the summer.
The resulting hunger was impacting their physical and emotional health and delaying their academic performance by up to two months at the start of the school year.
Food changes everything. Without it, children face a future of being unhealthy and uneducated – and that’s not okay with me.
It was time to make a difference.
I Can for Kids Foundation is a Calgary-based charitable organization whose mission is to end summer childhood hunger in our community. With the help of our dedicated frontline community and agency partners, I Can for Kids provides child-friendly food packs, fresh produce, peanut butter and other nutritious items to hungry kids during across the city during the summer months.
Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, donors and volunteers, we provided over 64,000 meals to hungry kids last summer.
I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, but there’s more work to do. The downturn in the economy has left even more parents struggling to put food on the table, many forced to make hard decisions between buying food or medicine, or paying for rent or electricity.
This summer will be our busiest yet and I need your help to provide 70,000 meals to hungry kids in our community.
There’s many ways to support our work – make a donation, become a sponsor, choose I Can for Kids as a beneficiary of your event, or volunteer at our food pack assemblies.
However you choose to be involved, together we’ll help hungry kids get the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow throughout the summer, giving them a healthier start to their school year.