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May 6, 2014

Chartwell Retirement Residents work to feed Calgary’s Kids and to inspire others

We here at BB4CK love to see the amazing efforts our community volunteers are making to feed Calgary’s kids. Please check out the Chartwell Retirement Residence newsletter article on their work. There are now 3 out of the 5 residences collaborating with BB4CK :)

FOR LOCAL STUDENTS

[Calgary, Alberta] In 2012, residents at Chartwell Harbours heard about the shocking number of children in Calgary who were going without lunches on a daily basis. They knew they needed to work together to help out their community, eliminate barriers and empower students to learn and excel.

After some research and brainstorming, residents connected with the Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids Program (BB4CK) and quickly began making and delivering healthy lunches for students who would otherwise go hungry. Nearly two years later, the program has prepared over 9069 lunches with the help of a number of loyal residents twice a week. From packaging the bags and delivering them to neighborhood schools, residents are taking charge and creating lasting social change.

“It’s a small but meaningful way of giving back,” says Stacey Senger, Marketing and Community Relations Manager at Chartwell Harbours. “Knowing that we can directly impact the life of a child and improve it in some way is an incredibly powerful motivator for everyone engaged in this initiative.”

Residents are not only involved in preparing lunches, but they also hold a monthly Helping Hands Fundraiser for staff, family members and residents to contribute monetarily. Each $1 donation, symbolized with a hand or lunch bag cut-out placed on the residence wall, helps to make one lunch for a deserving child. More than $ 7500.00 has been raised, helping to ensure that every child in Calgary has access to a healthy meal each day.

A strong friendship has developed with the schools and students on the receiving end of this program, with some residents even knitting mittens for the children in the cold winter months. “It’s not just about giving them a handout,” says Nancy Hall, resident at Chartwell Harbours. “It’s about giving them a hand up, enabling them to think clearly, and providing them with the best possible outcome.”

This initiative is part of Chartwell’s vocational signature program entitled H.O.P.E (Helping Others for Purposeful Engagement.) The program aims to connect residents with their community and surrounding neighborhoods by giving back and promoting a sense of purpose and meaningfulness in their lives.

 For more information, please contact:

Stacey Senger, Marketing and Community Relations Manager

(403) 295-2919 | ssenger@chartwell.com

April 29, 2014

BB4CK honoured by ‘Calgary’s Child’ publisher

award

Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids was honoured recently by an organization that works hard to promote the importance of healthy kids and strong communities. BB4CK has received a Calgary’s Child Magazine Publisher’s Award of Distinction, a top honour that’s part of the magazine’s Parents’ Choice Awards.

“We have been very, very impressed with this organization’s work for many years,” says Calgary’s Child founder and publisher Ellen Percival.

While the bulk of the Parents’ Choice Award recipients are selected via voting by readers of the popular bimonthly magazine, the Publisher’s Awards of Distinction are determined by Percival herself. The awards recognize organizations that encourage, educate and empower families in Calgary.

“Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids is grassroots — filling empty tummies is very important and direct,” Percival says. “We’ve heard so much from recipients and from schools about what a difference it has made, and is continuing to make. Our kids are our future, and when their needs are met our community is stronger.”

BB4CK executive director Tanya Koshowski says recognition from somebody whose work focuses on connecting with families is an honour.

“Ellen knows the heartbeat of Calgary families,” Koshowski says. “She knows her audience. Some of them are families who need us, and some are families who have helped us. So this says a lot about our reputation. It’s very meaningful, and we are humbled.”

The award belongs to all the people across the city who work every day in schools and community groups as well as the BB4CK kitchen to make the program effective — to feed hungry kids in Calgary schools so they can be healthy, learn and build a better future for themselves and the community, she says.

The award was presented April 29 during a luncheon ceremony at Heritage Park. Winners and honourees were named in more than 45 categories. Read the full list here.

BB4CK was in highly respected company in receiving the 2014 Publisher’s Award of Distinction — fellow recipients were Inn From the Cold and the Calgary Food Bank.

Founded in 1994, Calgary’s Child is celebrating its 20th year of publication. Visit its website.

April 29, 2014

8 simple ways you can help right now

Helping to feed hungry kids is something everyone can do. Here’s how you can be part of the solution.

1. Help us achieve our goal: “No hungry kids in Calgary.” Start the conversation today by asking the principal(s) of your local school(s) if they are aware of BB4CK and if they see a need.

2. Partner with BB4CK and help us toward sustainability. We want to ensure we are able to feed all hungry kids. Each dollar provides one healthy lunch for one child.

3. Advocate for your company or group to be a part of feeding Calgary’s kids. Volunteer together in our kitchen or sponsor a week of lunches.

4. Ask your kids if they know anyone who doesn’t have enough to eat. Help them connect their school with BB4CK. Join us in feeding that child and other hungry kids.

5. Learn about the businesses and organizations that support BB4CK. Thank them for helping to feed hungry kids. Let their actions inspire your own ideas to help.

6. Be a part of the direct act of feeding kids. Volunteer as a driver to deliver lunches to schools.

7. Join our BB4CK family by liking Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

8. Forward the BB4CK Food For Thought newsletter to your network of friends.

April 14, 2014

Well-fed kids…

 …tend to be sick less often:

• Fewer Hospitalizations: Food-insecure kids are 31% more likely to have been hospitalized since birth than children growing up in food-secure households. [Child Food Insecurity: The Economic Impact on Our Nation]

• Fewer Headaches, Stomachaches: Kids who don’t get enough to eat are “significantly more likely to have poorer health status and to experience more frequent stomachaches and headaches than food-sufficient children.” [National Institutes of Health (NIH)]

• Fewer Colds: Preschool children without enough to eat tend to have more frequent colds. [National Institutes of Health (NIH)]

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Help a child today

No matter how big or small your contribution, each dollar you donate will provide lunch for a hungry child. Helping has never been simpler.

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partnership

Partnerships

Our partners are key to helping feed Calgary’s hungry kids. From donors and sponsors to volunteers and community groups, we all work together for a cause we believe in.

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This year…

3,200

Kids Impacted Daily

625

People Volunteering Weekly

1500

Partners and Donors