With schools closed, many kids who rely on school-provided breakfast and lunch programs now can’t get those nutritious meals they look forward to and need daily.
This is what inspired a high school teacher from Georgina, Ontario and other volunteers to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The idea is simple: kids shouldn’t be hungry.
Emilee Elliott and Yasmine Steitieh met through a Facebook group called #Caremongering/Georgina Working Together, which brings residents together to help each other if they need something.
They came up with the idea to create the ‘Georgina Pop Up Breakfast Club’ so kids in need wouldn’t go hungry.
Elliott, together with high school teacher Steitieh, started collecting donations, stuffing baskets and establishing the Breakfast Club headquarters at Auntie M’s Closet in Keswick.
“Food is imperative,” says Steitieh. “Food for them that they may not have at home. They may not eat until they get to school. So that was my first inclination… I am consistently worried about my kids.”
Elliott says it’s easy to get in touch. Just send them a message on Facebook.
“So you send us a message and say ‘I have a child that’s missing their breakfast club,’” she says. “We ask them their address we drop it off. It’s that simple. There’s no application process. There’s no vetting. It’s just you have a kid who’s hungry. It’s that simple.”
Volunteers go out individually and buy items to fill healthy breakfast baskets. Erin Brimble, one of those volunteer says there is no face-to-face interaction to maintain proper social distancing measures.
“We go and do a porch drop off,” she says. “There is no face-to-face contact and Emily will let them know that their package has been delivered.”
According to the Breakfast Club of Canada, one in five children go to school hungry. Those numbers are higher in Georgina, Elliott said.
Through community support and donations, more than 50 baskets have been delivered so far.