Previous Support Initiatives
An evolution of our Fresh Food for Kids initiative, Food & Friends at Home was intended for parent(s) or guardian(s) with children and youth supported by the Children’s Foundation Food & Friends Programs to submit a request for a Food & Friends at Home kit. This kit provided one meal per child/youth, for each day of a two-week period similar to what would be provided through a Food & Friends student nutrition program. It was an interim measure, and we acknowledge recipients relied on the food support they received during the pandemic.
In-school student nutrition programming is the ideal setting for students to receive this nutrition, and as such, should be available and offered
The Food & Friends team will continue to work hand in hand with staff and volunteers of the Food & Friends Programs to ensure available funds are being effectively and efficiently managed, while ensuring that students are receiving nutrition that fits within the guidelines.
The Children’s Foundation jumped into action quickly to ensure that children and youth in our community were continuously supported during school closures, and recreational activity cancellations this year. We created emergency support extensions of some of our programs:
Our Adopt-A-Family program pivoted to a gift card-only model for the 2020 holiday season, and in the 2021 season we continued with a hybrid model. The health and safety of the volunteers, staff, and community involvement were top priority in this decision. Though Santa's workshop looked different the past two years, we received incredible feedback about the empowerment that families felt by having the opportunity to use the gift cards to shop for their families themselves.
With the incredible support of the community, each year we were able to support over 1,400 families who were referred to the program, including over 3,100 children and youth! You can learn more about our Adopt-A-Family program here.
With recreational activities such as swimming, camp and sports being cancelled during the summer months due to COVID-19, we were committed to find ways to keep children thinking, creating and moving. The value of play for children, especially during times of stress and uncertainty, cannot be underestimated.
Our Free to Grow at Home initiative worked in partnership with other local organization and businesses to provide recreational equipment, supplies and resources so that kids at home could continue the most important work of childhood - play! We were able to provide hundreds of Recreational Kits to local children during the summer months during the summers of 2020 and 2021.
You can read more about this initiative here.
With the closing of schools in March, the Children's Foundation, in partnership with local organizations, responded with a temporary emergency support initiative called Fresh Food for Kids that provided nutritious food to local children and youth in need in Dufferin, Wellington and Guelph. This initiative was able to deliver 19,180 nutritious food kits to local children and youth. You can learn more about the impact this initiative had here.