General Manager, Breakfast Club of Canada
President & Founder, Breakfast Club of Canada
In the midst of this emergency, every Canadian child still needs to eat.
In times of crisis, it’ s too often society’s most vulnerable who are hit earliest and hardest. As COVID-19 disrupts life across Canada and the world, we’re all suffering, but it’s once again the lowest-income families, and especially their young children, enduring the greatest hard- ship. Young Canadians whose food security was already precarious are in danger of going hungry for the first time, while those who were facing ongoing insecurity are seeing their situation worsen.
In a country where we believe that everyone has a right to the basic human necessities — food, shelter and health care — we cannot turn a blind eye during this pandemic to the children whose next meal is less certain by the day. “We’re facing an emergency,” says Tommy Kulczyk, General Manager of Breakfast Club of Canada. “Before the spread of COVID-19, more than one million Canadian children were affected by food insecurity. Now the current crisis is putting even more pressure on the families of these children.”
We all need food to live. Our children need food security to thrive.
A stable and healthy diet is critical to the physical, mental, and emotional development and well-being of our children. The scientific evidence is beyond reproach. Breakfast Club of Canada has been leaning into that science since 1994, bettering the lives and outcomes of Canada’s food-insecure youth, notably through school breakfast programs. With schools closed across the country, however, it’s essential that we quickly develop a robust and nationwide network and system capable of reaching, where they live, the children at greatest risk of food insecurity, whether they reside in the highly-urbanized neighbourhoods of our largest cities or in the most remote Indigenous communities.
Leveraging existing relationships and building new initiatives
In this time of uncertainty, Breakfast Club of Canada is mobilizing its already extensive and community-integrated apparatus to redouble, redefine, and reimagine its existing work in this time of need. “Over the years, the Club has proven the reliability of its network,” says Kulczyk. “We’ve been working with local organizations across the country for 25 years and are well-placed to know local needs and the best organizations to meet those needs.” With the support of its tried-and-tested network, Breakfast Club of Canada has created a COVID-19 Emergency Fund and is seeking to raise at least $5 million for new initiatives to help food-insecure Canadian families and children. This help would come not only through existing Breakfast Club of Canada partners, but also through special grants to new trusted organizations in a position to provide aid in high-need communities across Canada, including Indigenous, remote,and fly-in communities.
“We’re currently working with the provincial and federal governments and partner organizations throughout Canada to pool our resources and find solutions to support families during this crisis,” says Daniel Germain, President and Founder of Breakfast Club of Canada. “We don’t know how long this pandemic will affect us, or how long schools will be closed. Regardless of this uncertainty, we’re committed to our mission of helping children and families in need. Together, we’ll fight to ensure no child or family faces food insecurity. Please contribute if you can.”