Hungry children who show up to class at St. Paul Catholic School stick out among their peers, said its principal – they are lethargic and their concentration is dashed.
“When you put a snack in front of them at 9:45 a.m. and they devour it, and they ask for seconds, thirds, and fourths, you know they’re hungry,” Micheline Dutil-Hoffman said, adding that a nutritious diet translates into success at school.
A pledge announced Thursday morning by President’s Choice Children’s Charity, a subsidiary of Loblaw Companies Ltd., could help in this respect. It intends to address childhood hunger in Canada through a $150 million campaign doled out over the next 10 years.
“For our part, as Canada’s leading grocer operating in every community nation-wide, we are in a unique position to help,” said Galen Weston, CEO and executive chairman of Loblaw Companies Ltd., before a group of St. Paul students. “Our efforts will rest on two new strategic pillars: feeding hungry children and teaching kids to make healthy, responsible and better informed food choices.”
Weston pegged the number of children at risk of being underfed or unfed at over one million on a daily basis across the country.
“Childhood hunger limits ambition,” he said. “A well-fed child has the energy to perform at school. He focuses ahead, she imagines all there is to accomplish.”
It will be rolled out by working with different local charitable organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, he said.
The charity is a supporter of breakfast programs, which connects it to schools.