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. Rising food prices, increased child care costs over the summer, and back-to-school expenses make it increasingly difficult for parents to provide basic needs for their children. And sadly, the fear of stigma and social and physical barriers make it difficult to feel supported.
That’s what inspired Sutton Garner, only 11-years old at the time, to create the I Can for Kids Foundation to fulfill her mission to end summer childhood hunger in Calgary and build a community where no child goes hungry.
With the generous support of our agency partners, funders and volunteers, I Can for Kids provides child-friendly, non-perishable food packs, fresh produce, 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.
We are proud to have an impact on the lives of thousands of children and families in our community. In recognition of our work, our co-founder Sutton Garner was honored as Calgary’s Youth Philanthropist of the Year for 2017, and named one of our city’s Most Compelling Calgarians of 2018 by the Calgary Herald.