April 4, 2020
President's Choice Children's Charity funds $10 million response to vulnerable kids missing school-based hunger programs due to COVID-19 closures
TORONTO, April 4, 2020 /CNW/ - President's Choice Children's Charity, established and funded in part by Loblaw Companies Limited, has taken immediate steps to get food to Canada's most vulnerable children, as in-school and after-school nutrition programs have closed nationwide due to COVID-19.
The charity, Canada's largest charitable funder of in-school nutrition programs, is immediately releasing $10 million in grants to program partners nationwide to drive new approaches to giving children safe access to food. This includes an additional $1 million in emergency funding to help Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and its 700 community sites to take on this challenge and address the increase in need.
"For hungry children who rely on school for food, the coming weeks will be hard," said Sarah Davis the charity's chair and president of Loblaw Companies Limited. "We make sure Canada's most vulnerable children can attend school well-fed and ready to learn. When school is out, hunger remains. We need to keep serving these children, but we need to find new ways."
Partner organizations across the country including individual schools ($3.4M), Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada ($4.775M), Pathways to Education ($1M), Community Food Centres Canada ($700k) and a number of smaller local programs ($177k) have been encouraged by the charity to redirect all 2020 funds from discontinued in-school programs to new programs and methods for feeding kids.
"For more than a decade, the support of President's Choice Children's Charity has helped us feed 200,000 kids at our Clubs," said Owen Charters, President & CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. "In this time of uncertainty, they have gone above and beyond to help us meet the new challenge of getting food into the hands of vulnerable kids, families, and communities most affected by the pandemic."
"In the average school year, our funding helps provide 72 million meals to students," said Davis. "By giving our schools and partners flexibility right now, we're encouraging them to do what's best for their families and communities – including new methods like grab-and-go snacks, community-led emergency food initiatives, or by giving out gift cards directly to struggling families."
Although the cancellation of fundraising activities due to COVID-19 may present some challenges, President's Choice Children's Charity is anticipating a return to normal with its usual in-school nutrition granting this Fall.
"It would have been so easy for the charity to defer this money until next year. The fact that we can use it to help our families in need right now is so incredibly helpful," said Neil Daigle, Principal, John MacNeil Elementary School in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
About PC Children's Charity
President's Choice Children's Charity, the nation's top charitable funder of school meal programs, was founded in 1989 and has since granted $190 million benefitting more than five million Canadian children.
In the two years following its $150 million commitment to tackle childhood hunger, President's Choice Children's Charity has granted more than $29 million to feed hungry minds by improving food access and delivering nutrition education for Canadian children. The charity's founder, Loblaw Companies Ltd, generously covers the cost of administration so every dollar raised goes to programs that make a direct impact on kids. Supported by Loblaw's network of more than 1,100 grocery stores, millions of customers and almost 200,000 employees, in 2019 the charity reached more than 800,000 children nationwide. For more information or to make an online donation, visit pcchildrenscharity.ca.
SOURCE President's Choice Children's Charity