Second Harvest, Sodexo serve up 40K meals at GTA summer camps
Children fed through school lunch programs also need help in summer, Second Harvest executive director says
About 250 kids piled their plates high with burgers and all the fixings Wednesday at the Driftwood Community Recreation Centre on Jane Street north of Finch Avenue West, as part of the Feeding Our Future program.
Second Harvest and the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation have teamed up to get 40,000 nutritious lunches to underprivileged children attending 18 subsidized summer camps in the GTA.
Debra Lawson, the executive director of Second Harvest, says children fed through school lunch programs also need help during the summer.
"I was at a camp last week where a couple of the kids were telling me that this was the first meal of the day," she said.
"So they're coming to camp where they're expected to play, learn, swim, socialize, and they haven't eaten. I don't know if you've tried that, but it's impossible."
Lawson says getting healthy food into children is important for the present and the future.
"You need to build your body and your brain with good nutrition," Lawson says. "You can't build it on junk food."
The Feeding Our Future program started in Toronto in 2001. It's since expanded to eight other Canadian cities.
"We wish that the need would go away, but unfortunately it doesn't," said Katherine Power, executive director of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation.
"We're happy to be here to be able to help in any way we can."