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Maple Leaf Foods and Gastropost Team Up For #FeedItForward

Feed Tomorrow 2015

Most people who read food blogs probably don't have to worry about having enough healthy, whole foods to eat and to feed their families. We might complain about that $8 cauliflower and wait, crankily, for the price to come back down before we start buying it again but, on the whole, while still watching for sales and clipping the odd coupon, we go about our daily business, never having to agonize over how we are going to make the food in our kitchen stretch out and last until the next payday.

Did you know that 1 child out of every five is at risk of not having access to breakfast? In Aboriginal communities, this ratio actually rises to an alarming 1 in 2 and amongst immigrants the risk is 2.5 times higher than it is in the general population. This means that almost a million kids are in danger of getting nothing to eat in the morning before they go to school.

It has been proven that kids who eat a good breakfast do better in school, their behaviour improves, they have higher self confidence and their ability to concentrate is noticeably stronger.  Never mind the obvious health benefits of a solid, healthy diet. The fact that in a prosperous country like Canada, so many children are going without is unacceptable.

Luckily, we have great programs like The Breakfast Club of Canada, FoodShare, Food Secure Canada and many smaller, community based organizations to help fill the gaps but, even with all of these amazing people doing their best to help, this is still a major problem.

Every year, I tour a number of inner city Toronto schools during Feed Tomorrow week to see what TFSS (The Toronto Foundation for Student Success) is up to. They support over 700 breakfast, lunch and snack programs, providing more than 160,000 meals a day within the TDSB. It is always such an inspiration to see, first hand, the positive impact that these organizations are having not just for the children, but for the entire families who benefit from all of these programs. It's not just about providing meals too - kids are being taught about growing their own food, cooking and sharing their knowledge with their families at home.

Feed Tomorrow Week 2014 - that's Rifat Khan on the bottom left in the green top - local superhero mom

Maple Leaf Foods is joining forces with #Gastropost to spread the word on their #FeedItForward campaign, which aims to bring awareness to the issues of food insecurity in Canada and to recognize Canadians who use food to make a difference in the lives of those in their communities. This is a chance to showcase those who are doing this invaluable work related to food insecurity, food justice and social eating AND the winner will get a $10,000 donation towards their organization and get free Maple Leaf groceries for a year. Just for nominating them, you will also be in the running to receive free groceries from Maple Leaf for a year.

Who to nominate?
I will get the ball started and nominate someone:

I nominate Rifat Khan, a mom I met who moved to Canada about a decade ago and even though she on longer had his in the elementary school, she was still active there and had become the parent coordinator of the meal program for Thorncliff Park School. There, she managed about 30 parent volunteers so that they could feed more than 2000 kids a day and because they have both a breakfast AND a snack program, they pump out over 4000 meals a day. 

**This blog post was promoted by Gastropost + Maple Leaf Foods but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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