The Every Breakfast Counts program provided approximately 7,700 meals this summer as part of its 2023 programming.
The meals were provided to local children free of charge and included items such as fresh fruit/vegetables, cheese and bread, and were made available at 10 different locations in the community, including City of Sault Ste. Marie outdoor pools, the Child Care Algoma EarlyON Child and Family Centre and Sault Ste. Marie District Social Services Community Hubs.
An eight-week stretch spanning July and August saw an average of 963 meals per week were distributed.
The program relied on a team of five volunteers, who committed approximately three hours per day to prepare meals while the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma Family Services, Social Services of Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma Ontario Health Team, John Howard Society, Sault Ste. Marie Police Services and Canadian Mental Health Association volunteered to deliver meals.
“Through the hard work of volunteers and the Every Breakfast Counts committee, we were able to provide local children with thousands of badly needed meals,” said Mayor Matthew Shoemaker in a news release issued today. “Harvest Algoma continues to be at forefront of addressing food insecurity in Sault Ste. Marie and following the financial commitments announced at Monday evening’s City Council meeting, I am confident we will be able to reach significantly more children next year with the assistance of the food resource centre.”
The Every Breakfast Counts committee is launching a 50/50 draw with the chance to win up to $25,000 to help with future operation.
Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased by contacting committee member organizations - the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Mayor and CAO Offices, District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services, United Way Harvest Algoma, Algoma Family Services, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, Indigenous Friendship Centre, Child Care Algoma and EarlyON Child and Family Centre - as well as the Algoma Family Services reception desk on McNabb Street.
The draw date is Oct, 28 at 1 p.m. at Algoma Family Services and will be held by the Algoma Family Services Foundation.
“The community has been incredibly supportive of Every Breakfast Counts, as demonstrated by more than $60,000 in donations received during our fundraising campaign this summer,” said Emily Tremblay, Algoma Family Services Community Services Supervisor.
“The program continues to make a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of children in Sault Ste. Marie, and I encourage people to participate in the draw as a means to support our efforts and for the chance to win up to $25,000.”
The Every Breakfast Counts began in the spring of 2018 as a way to address a service gap in the community by providing meals to youth who rely on breakfast programming offered during the school year.