TPG employee Maggie decided to donate $100 to Halton Food4Kids to “pay it forward” as part of TPG’s Holiday Goodwill imitative. This initiative, founded in Hamilton in 2011 and extended to Halton in 2013, works to provide healthy food to elementary school students from at-risk, low-income or disadvantaged homes with limited or no food during weekend periods. They provide a solution-based program that addresses, responds to and diminishes child weekend hunger within Halton.
It was assessed that 400 children in Halton go without food each and every weekend, which is astronomical considering the small relatively population of Halton. Since Halton has a reputation of having a pretty affluent population, a lot of people do not recognize that a lot of kids and families are struggling to merely feed themselves over the weekend.
“When children receive the nourishment they need, a whole new world opens up. They can concentrate better in class, have higher energy levels, improve test scores and attendance, and become more social.”
Food4Kids provides healthy food to kids in a discretionary and non-stigmatizing way by placing food package in the students’ backpacks at the end of the school week, for the student to take home to their family for the weekend. This method helps to shield the child from any stigma associated with hunger or receiving food assistance. Each child in the home receives their own food package.
Food4Kids reduces barriers to accessing healthy food, which impacts immediate, short and long-term developmental outcomes for children and youth. Access to healthy food helps children develop physically and mentally at a faster rate and helps prevent childhood obesity and other health complications that could result in expensive medical care later on down the road.
“While we recognize we cannot eliminate poverty or hunger, we can ensure that any child sustaining entire weekends without food, will be fed.”
This program works across 77 schools and distributes 29,900 food packages annually. They also help feed kids in the summer months, by schools referring students to their summer feeding program, funded by volunteers and community donations.
The cost per backpack is $10.00 or $400 to feed a child for an entire school year. This contribution on behalf of TPG will help feed a child for about a quarter of the school year.