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Photo courtesy The Grocery Foundation. Photo Credit: Derek Shapton, Westside Studio

Toonies for Tummies supporting school nutrition programs

By Randy Thoms Feb 15, 2024 | 2:45 PM

A campaign to fund local school nutrition programs is underway.

It is called Toonies for Tummies, a campaign initiated by The Grocery Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports student nutrition programs across Canada.

It invites Safeway customers in northwestern Ontario to add a donation to their grocery purchases.

The campaign is also taking place at the IGA Store in Red Lake.

The Northwestern Health Unit’s Carly Miller says all the money raised stays in the community.

“The health unit is a member of Student Nutrition Program Ontario. The funds go from The Grocery Foundation to Student Nutrition Program Ontario, and then they are distributed through SNP to our local schools,” says Miller.

“The schools are able to use them to purchase foods, either for (such things as) breakfast programs. Lots of schools have breakfast programs, and then some also have snack programs as well, too. As schools are the best judge of where the funds are needed most, they are the ones that able to use that towards what programs work best in their schools.”

The campaign runs until the end of the month.

Samantha Stuart, an assistant manager with Safeway in Fort Frances, says they hope to raise $2,100 at the local store.

“Sobeys matches donations up to $215,000. So, I am suggesting people get in soon and donate for our community so that the company will also match those donations for our community,” says Stuart.

Last year, $2,300 was raised, exceeding the store’s goal of $2,000.

“It’s a huge asset. It’s wonderful that we have the support that we do in our community because, as you probably are aware, the health unit works in various nutrition programs in our communities to help provide nutritious school-based meal and snack programs for students. That, of course, goes back into their healthy growth and development as well,” says Miller.