Why We Exist
“I never expected to find myself in a situation where having food would be a concern. My family and I have been through a whole lot in the last four months and sometimes in this journey I have found that we need extra help with food, clothing or basic items. We have been lucky enough to benefit from the I Can for Kids program, this program has saved us more than once. I do not know how we would have made it, especially through the summer, without I Can for Kids. They drop off with a friendly smile and a bag of food to help us get through the week. What more could I ask! Thank you I Can for Kids, I will never forget how you have helped my family!” – Brenda Strafford Centre client
School nutrition programs play a critical role in helping children build healthy minds and bodies. A meal received at school may be a hungry child’s only meal of the day.
Sadly, the majority of kids who count on these programs during the school year do not have the same access to a free meal during the summer. The resulting hunger can have an overwhelming effect on their physical, emotional and social health, and delay their academic performance by up to two months at the start of the school year.
Whether affected by a job loss, a health crisis, or escaping a life of abuse, thousands of Calgarians struggle to put food on the table every day. To make matters worse, few options exist to provide food to hungry kids during the summer. Local agencies are limited in their programming, resources and hours of operation, and are not able to provide food to children consistently, or in amounts lasting more than a few days.
I Can for Kids and our community partners are working hard to ensure children and youth across the city receive the supports and resources they need. Together, we provide preassembled food packs, fresh fruit, peanut butter and an assortment of other nutritious items to hungry kids in high-risk, low-income areas in Calgary, helping them get the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow over the summer months, preparing them for a healthier start to the school year.