Sep 14, 2022

Qualico Calgary to match donations for Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids’ Back-to-School Fundraiser

Calgary, AB – With kids heading back to classes, Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids (BB4CK) has launched a fundraising and awareness campaign to ensure no kid goes hungry at school.

The campaign, which runs from September 6 to 30, will invite Calgarians to raise $100,000, which will be doubled by matching donors Qualico Calgary and the Matt Rumpel Family Foundation. The matching donors have signed on to help BB4CK reach a total fundraising goal of $200,000.

“We are proud to partner with BB4CK in this year’s back to school matching campaign to ensure no kid is hungry at school,” said Claudio Palumbo, Qualico Regional Vice-President, Southern Alberta Region. “Qualico’s success can in part be attributable to the work we have done in the Calgary region and it is important to give back to the communities we help build. We are fortunate to be able to provide a financial gift, along with our staff making lunches every month for kids in school.”

With this support, BB4CK will be able to provide thousands of Calgary kids with much-needed access to nutritious food as they start the new school year. In addition to the online donation portal, Calgary Co-op will also be supporting the initiative by collecting monetary donations at all locations throughout September.

In Calgary, one in six children live in food-insecure households. Not having enough healthy food can have serious implications for a child’s physical and mental health. Hunger-related toxic stress has been proven to negatively affect brain development, learning, information processing and academic achievement in children. In fact, teachers report that students who come to school hungry lose an average of 132 minutes of learning each day due to a lack of energy.

For more than 30 years, BB4CK has worked tirelessly to bring people together – giving time, energy, resources and lots of heart – to ensure that kids who need food have access to it. In partnership with an extensive network of more than 30 local kitchens and hundreds of volunteers, more than 5,500 nutritious lunches are distributed daily to hungry kids across the city.

The BB4CK program operates at more than 200 Calgary schools and provides children and youth with barrier-free, dignified access to lunch supports. Thanks to these partnerships, BB4CK is able to provide balanced, nutritious lunches to students for as little as $2.50 per lunch, a figure which includes food, preparation, packaging and transport costs.

“The back to school season provides a timely reminder about the importance of ensuring every kid has access to the nutritious food they need to grow and succeed on a daily basis,” said Bethany Ross, Executive Director, Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids. “We hope Calgary will join us in combating food insecurity as we aim to send every kid to school with a full belly and a full mind this year.”

BB4CK continues to increase the number of lunches it delivers and the number of schools it serves to meet the city’s growing need. Approximately 52 per cent of schools are cared for by community groups made up of retirees, parent groups, local businesses, professionals, and kids helping kids. The rest of the lunches are created in BB4CK’s downtown kitchen with the help of volunteer groups.

The back to school campaign will also aim to further educate the community about other ways they can help to eliminate hunger among the children in their city as food prices continue to rise at an unprecedented rate.

In addition to donating online or at Calgary Co-op locations, Calgarians can also be part of the solution by becoming a monthly donor, joining the ‘share a school memory’ movement on social media using #yycfeedskids, or volunteering with BB4CK to make or deliver lunches. For more information, visit https://bb4ck.org/yycfeedskids

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