Organization Spotlight: Breakfast Club of Canada
At DP World Vancouver, we believe that businesses can help the community in multiple ways: by making donations, by encouraging volunteerism, and even by operating their own charities. Our Community Kinship programme points the way toward organizations that are contributing to the greater good in Vancouver and across the country, such as Breakfast Club of Canada.
What Is the Level of Need?
Every day, nearly one million Canadian children are at risk of going to school on an empty stomach. The mission of Breakfast Club of Canada is a simple one: to grow healthy students and nurture potential, one breakfast at a time. On each plate, students get a breakfast comprised of the four major food groups. To fill that plate, the Club works with nutritionists to ensure healthy meals, and with schools to make sure their kitchens are properly outfitted. The Club is active in every province, serving over 200,000 kids in 1,500 schools, but its ultimate goal is to reach every child who needs the service. Learning and living healthy eating habits are key to providing an equal chance at success for all kids.
How Does Breakfast Club Work?
Getting a school involved starts with filling out a grant application. An important consideration is whether the school is a good fit and whether it can sustain the program five days a week. That sustainability is critical—students must be able to count on receiving a healthy breakfast day to day and week to week. School size isn’t all that important—whether they plan to serve 30 breakfasts or 150, the key consideration is whether they can do it. Once the school is chosen to receive funding, money is allocated based on enrollment. The school itself does the grocery shopping, and can even involve students in the shopping process. Learning how to shop for healthy meals can help students learn healthy habits for a lifetime. The hope is to create a culture that encourages children and their families to eat healthily and shop responsibly.
Breakfast Club of Canada believes it’s important not to stigmatize kids who receive the service. So, breakfast is universal. If a participating student wants to bring a friend to breakfast, they can. It’s intended to be a social and welcoming environment.
Breakfast Club of Canada’s Ben Neumer says, “With 1,500 locations across the country, we might be the biggest restaurant in Canada. Because it really does feel like a restaurant environment, and we’re serving breakfast more than many breakfast chains in Canada. But we’re feeding a future.”
How Can Businesses Make Donations or Volunteer?
The Club organizes fundraising events that allow businesses and interested individuals to donate money and time. During the Calgary Stampede, Breakfast Club is hosting their first “Boot, Scoot and Swing” golf tournament, and a star-studded dinner event at Mission Hill Family Estate in Kelowna BC in July. Link here. Businesses can also help through their own corporate responsibility programs, or by encouraging charity contributions through payroll deduction.
One of the simplest and most rewarding ways people can support the cause is to volunteer serving breakfast at a participating school in your area. It can be a great team-building exercise as well, so register with a group of coworkers! What could be more meaningful than handing a plate full of food to a child, knowing it will fuel them for their first class in the morning—and feed their future?