We are all responsible to make sure our kid’s tummies are full.
It was her eyes.
That’s what I remember the most.
We were sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Buenos Aires, people streaming along the ramblas in front of us enjoying the 30+ heat and sunshine. As we people-watched, I noticed a number of children, dirty, no shoes, messy, tangled hair, carrying babies with diapers as their only coverage begging to those passing by, pleading for money to feed their family.
I know what you are going to say, it might have been a scam. A ruse to foil tourists into giving them money. Maybe. Quite possibly. But you can’t make someone’s eyes look the way hers did.
At one point, I looked over at a trash bin and saw a little girl wildly licking her fingers as she devoured the sauce left inside a styrofoam takeout container. We locked eyes and in that moment, I wanted to cry for her. The pain of hunger etched across her face. Her eyes, sunken and manic with a desperate need to eat something. She was full-on starving.
Her eyes are burned into my brain.
We spent 3 months travelling through some of the poorest countries in South America. The word “hustle” has a different meaning down there. Their hustle is for survival and it can be very difficult to see at times. Throughout our entire trip around the world, one of the biggest impacts for us was how often we would see more of those eyes. Countless examples of children in dire need of food.
Fast forward to when we came home to Toronto and I was at my child’s school. I was walking down the hall and ran into a child with those same hungry eyes. She said her tummy hurt and again, I wanted to cry for another child going through pains that they shouldn’t have to suffer.
The issue of child hunger is still a big problem here in Canada. Over 1.1 Million children access student nutrition programs on a daily basis and 1 in 8 households in Canada are food insecure, meaning they struggle with getting food on the table.
We all know kids who eat breakfast do better in school, and missing meals can impair a student’s success. Behavioural & concentration issues can be a challenge in children who are hungry. It takes a village, as they say, to care for our children. In this case, our village is our local school community and the programs set in place to help kids thrive.
One of the main contributors to this community is the Grocery Foundation and their #Toonies4Tummies program. This is a program that brings a significant number of grocery retailers and product brands together to help raise funds for student nutrition and keep tummies full at school.
The beauty of it all?
The Grocery Foundation funds all of the expenses for the campaign which means 100% of the donations received go directly to serving local communities.
Over the course of January, February and March, #Toonies4Tummies are collecting toonies at the till in store to help towards their $1Million dollar goal this year.
Even better, you can donate right from home by going to the Grocery Foundation website and donating online TODAY.
All it takes is a toonie and you are helping be the change with children across Canada.
Teach your children the importance & impact of helping others by watching how far our toonies grow with the Toonie Tracker at Toonies4Tummies.ca
We are all in this together. It’s time to care for our village.