We do not just talk about poverty and child hunger. We provide a solution-based program that addresses, responds to, and diminishes child weekend hunger within Waterloo Region. While we recognize that we cannot eliminate poverty or hunger, we can ensure that any child sustaining entire weekends or school breaks without food will be fed.
We are seeing a shift from poverty elimination to a preventive methodology. We reduce barriers to accessing healthy food, which impacts immediate, short, and long-term developmental outcomes for children and youth. Provision of food is a key prevention strategy impacting physical health, mental health and academic success, and in breaking the cycle of poverty.
For many children, hunger is not just an occasional missed meal - it is a way of life. Children who live with chronic hunger develop physically and socially at a slower pace than their peers, experience higher levels of anxiety, hyperactivity, irritability, and aggression. Even relatively short nutritional deficiencies can negatively impact a child’s health.
When children receive the nourishment they need, a whole new world opens up. They are healthier, can concentrate better, have higher energy levels, improve school test scores and attendance, and become more social.
"Please keep this program! It is very helpful to our family. Some days are a struggle, and every little bit helps."
"The benefits of this program to our families are too many to mention, but the long term result will be a reduction in risk and vulnerability."
"This program is awesome. When the kids realized that their bag was all theirs, and that their siblings had their own, they were so appreciative."
"A grade one student, who grew up in a refugee camp (living in a tent) before coming to Canada, asks me every day, "today is food?" When I remind her it is only on Fridays, she counts how many more days she has to wait. The smile she gives knowing she will get her food bags melts my heart, every day."