Childhood hunger is a major issue in Canada. It is feared that of the more than five million Canadian schoolchildren that returned to classes this month, over one million of them are starting their day without the proper nourishment. Hunger has been shown to impact classroom learning, produce behavioural issues and harm the overall wellbeing of students. Since 60% of learning occurs before lunch, providing a nutritious breakfast is one of the easiest ways to give all Canadian children the same opportunity to succeed.

Breakfast Club of Canada knows the important role breakfast plays in a child’s life, that’s why they have spent the last 23 years growing from a Quebec-only organization to a national network which serves nearly 33 million breakfasts annually. Today there are nearly 1,600 clubs across Canada, attended by over 200,000 students daily and served by over 17,500 volunteers. Despite the incredible progress that has been made, there are still nearly 500 groups waiting for Breakfast Club of Canada’s support.

To keep up with the rising number of children in need, Breakfast Club of Canada has launched the Start Me Up campaign. The aim of this program is to raise awareness around the importance of breakfast in a child’s academic success while also encouraging the Federal Government to work with Breakfast Club of Canada to create a national meal plan. The ambitious centrepiece of the Start Me Up campaign is a goal to see all Canadian students have access to an in-school meal program by 2020 (today Canada is the only G7 country without a national school meal program).

“It costs only $5 to feed one child a nutritious breakfast for an entire week,” explains Daniel Germain, Founding President of Breakfast Club of Canada. “Through Start Me Up, Canadians can join us in that fight against hunger here at home. Now is the time to come together as a nation to help our future generations. We have the government, the resources, and the dream to provide all Canadian children with an opportunity to succeed.”

Coca-Cola Canada believes in Breakfast Club of Canada’s mission to give all Canadian students an equal opportunity to succeed, that’s why Minute Maid has been proudly donating product to clubs across Canada since 1999. If you’re interested in supporting Breakfast Club of Canada, please visit them online at www.breakfastclubcanada.org/give or help spread the word about their important campaign through social media using #StartMeUp.