Who is I Can for Kids?
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. Learn more about who we are.
How does I Can for Kids help hungry kids during the summer?
Through a network of over 20 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. Learn more about our community partners.
What is in an I Can for Kids food pack?
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 a registered dietician 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. In 2019, we are aiming to provide more than 70,000 meals and 100,000 snacks to hungry kids in our city during the summer months.
How does hunger affect kids?
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. Learn more about the effects of childhood hunger.
Why is it important to support hungry kids?
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.
How many kids need help?
There’s no way to really know how many hungry 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 year, Calgary school nutrition programs have seen up to a 25% increase in children needing support, 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 is aiming to provide 70,000 meals and 100,000 snacks to hungry kids in Calgary this summer, a 20% increase from last year.
How can I support I Can for Kids?
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 peanut butter drive, or designating I Can for Kids as beneficiary of your company, team, community or club event. Learn more about how you can get involved. Your support could make all the difference.