One in five Canadian students is at risk of going to school hungry.

Really let that number sink in.

In a class of 30 students, that translates to six hungry stomachs, and in Aboriginal communities that figure skyrockets to half the class. Unfortunately new Canadians are also disproportionately affected by this shocking statistic.

Through our work with Breakfast Club of Canada, we know that students who have a well-balanced breakfast do better in school.  That is why we have been a proud partner of Breakfast Club of Canada for 16 years, donating 100% Minute Maid juices to clubs across the country. Last year Minute Maid and Breakfast Club of Canada took things a step further by launching Breakfast Day in Canada. This initiative saw record numbers of Coca-Cola associates volunteer their time at breakfast clubs across Canada, to raise awareness around the important work the Breakfast Club of Canada does to help give students the energy they need to start their day off right.

Yoghurt parfaits and egg wraps were just some of the delicious breakfast items available to students.

Chris Whitehead

This year Breakfast Day in Canada returned on November 2nd, with associates from 13 facilities in six provinces volunteering at breakfast clubs in their local communities. Here in Toronto Christian Polge, President of Coca-Cola Ltd., Judith Barry, co-founder of Breakfast Club of Canada, the Hon. Mitzie Hunter, Ontario’s Minister of Education, and Paul Ainslie, Toronto City Councillor for Scarborough East, rolled up their sleeves and pitched in at St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School in Scarborough.

(From Left to Right) Councilor Paul Ainslie, Principal Michael Wetzel, Minister Mitzie Hunter, Christian Polge, Vice Principal Robert Noble and Judith Barry before breakfast.

Chris Whitehead

“We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and Minute Maid juice has a role to play in helping Canadians get the best start to their day,” said Christian Polge. “We believe we are only as strong as the communities in which we operate. An important part of building strong communities is partnering with organizations that are dedicated to ensuring student success.”

“Breakfast is an incredibly important meal because it allows students to have a great start to their day and we know how important nutrition is to learning and well-being,” Minister Hunter shared with the audience. “Breakfast is particularly important for young people because they can only achieve their best when they have the fuel to do so.”

These smoothies were a big hit with the students. The kale featured in these green smoothie is actually grown at the school’s greenhouse by St. John Paul II Secondary’s Gardening Club.

Chris Whitehead

You can help give students across Canada the support they need through many different ways, from making a donation to Breakfast Club of Canada big or small (remember just $1 can feed one student for a day) or volunteering at the breakfast club in your community.

This year contributing is even easier. For those of you in Western Canada, from November 14th until January 9th, a portion of all Minute Maid sales at Whistler, Lake Louise, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies and onboard BC Ferries will be donated directly to Breakfast Club of Canada.

For more information on Breakfast Club of Canada, their programs and how you can get involved, please visit them online at www.breakfastclubcanada.org.