Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

January 24, 2007 15:20 ET

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada Establishes $1.2 Million Fund to Support Nutrition Programs for Hungry Children and Youth Across Canada

MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 24, 2007) - Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) is supporting the ongoing work of Boys and Girls Clubs in Canadian communities to improve the nutrition of children and youth, by converting a major $1.2 million donation into healthy meals and snacks for hungry children.

BGCC is using the donation, which comes from a portion of a settlement of the "Canadian Vitamins Class Action", to establish a national Nutrition fund. Through this new fund, BGCC will distribute thirty "Eat Right" Nutrition Grants annually to local Boys and Girls Clubs over the next three years.

"We're grateful for the opportunity to put this donation toward helping Boys and Girls Clubs in communities across Canada to address the distressing and too often ignored issue of child hunger in Canada," said Pam Jolliffe, President and CEO, BGCC. "It means that Clubs will be able to provide healthy meals and snacks to many more children who would otherwise go hungry."

A 2005 national study (Hunger Count 2005) conducted by the Canadian Association of Food Banks, indicated that over 40.7% of food bank users were children and the number of children using food banks has increased since 1989, the year the federal government promised to eliminate child poverty.

It is widely accepted that good nutrition is essential to a child's long term physical health and to his or her healthy emotional, social and intellectual development. Boys and Girls Clubs nationwide offer programs that address child hunger and nutrition education. Currently, Clubs provide more than 900,000 meals and over 8 million nutritious snacks annually to 74,000 children and youth. The grants will enable clubs to increase the number of meals served by 180,000 and the number of healthy after-school snacks to 11 million reaching an additional 60,000 children and youth.

"Clubs are also tackling the epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes affecting young Canadians, due to poor nutrition and eating habits," added Jolliffe. "The majority of our 102 Clubs across Canada are providing nutrition education and counselling programs to local youth." This includes a national healthy lifestyle program called Cool Moves, supported by Kraft Canada, which educates children about what constitutes good nutrition and how to choose what they eat wisely in combination with daily exercise.

According to the Canadian Journal of Public Health, more than 24% of children in grade 4 do not eat breakfast every day; by grade 8, 47% of girls and 33% of boys are not eating breakfast daily. In a recent study it was found that children who don't eat breakfast are 1.5 times more likely to be overweight (Canadian Population Health Initiative 2004).



Boys and Girls Clubs selected to receive Nutrition Grants for 2006/07 year:

NL & Labrador ON
Gander Boys and Girls Club Boys and Girls Club of Peel
Norris Arm Boys and Girls Club East Hamilton Kiwanis Boys and Girls
Boys and Girls Club of St. John's Club
PEI Boys and Girls Club of Kawartha Lakes
Boys and Girls Club of Summerside Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater
NS Kingston
East Dartmouth Boys and Girls Club Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa
Dartmouth Boys and Girls Club Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke
NB Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club
Boys and Girls Club of Dieppe Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club
Boys and Girls Club of Fredericton MB & SK
Havelock Boys and Girls Club Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg
Miramichi Boys and Girls Club Battlefords Boys and Girls Club
Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte AB
County Bonnyville Boys and Girls Club
PQ Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary
Boys and Girls Club of LaSalle Boys and Girls Clubs of Edmonton
Fort Saskatchewan Boys and Girls Club
Leduc Boys and Girls Club
Boys and Girls Club of Strathcona
County
BC
Cranbrook Boys and Girls Club
Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs


About Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is a leading provider of programs that support the healthy physical, educational and social development of more than 178,000 children, youth and their families each year. In 700 community locations across Canada, clubs offer after-school programs in physical recreation, technology, the arts, personal growth and more. Many clubs also provide meals, emergency shelter, family support programs and other supports to children and youth at risk. Boys and Girls Clubs have been helping young Canadians to discover, develop and achieve their potential, for over 100 years. To learn more, visit www.bgccan.com.

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