Metro Vancouver, B.C. – Thirty-one. Sixty-two.
These are the numbers that spurred three students in the entrepreneurial leadership degree program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) to take action and fight child hunger in their communities.
In Canada, 31 and 62 per cent of elementary and secondary students, respectively, go to schools across the country without having had a healthy breakfast, or any breakfast at all.
“Children need a healthy breakfast in order to learn, flourish and grow,” said KPU student Cara Bauder, who lives in Coquitlam.
To do that, fourth-year business students Bauder, Ryan Chem and Sandeep Singh Pawar founded the Happy Tummies Program, which aims to provide a nutritious breakfast five days a week, for at least six weeks, to children at a Langley elementary school. Their hope is for a successful pilot program that expands beyond the six weeks and to additional schools.
“We live in such a fast-paced society that sometimes people forget there are children who need financial, family and educational support within their very own community,” said Chem, a Langley resident.
Added Pawar, who lives in Surrey: “We have million-dollar homes in the Lower Mainland, and on the other end of the spectrum, we have kids who go without food on a regular basis. That doesn’t make sense to me.”
Over the six weeks of the program, it’s estimated that Happy Tummies will feed 3,000 children while raising awareness about child poverty and child hunger. The Surrey-based charity grocery store PricePro and the John Volken Academy have come on board to support the project by supplying food and labour to assemble the meals. Each breakfast provided will contain three of the four major food groups listed in Canada’s Food Guide.
- Anand Pizza and Sweet Shop
- Grand Taj Banquet Hall
- Papa Plumbing
- PricePro/John Volken Academy
- Sewa Enterprise Ltd.
- Surrey Supermarket Ltd.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships.Learn more at kpu.ca.
Photo of the Happy Tummies team available on Flickr.