Childhood Hunger in Hamilton

“My mom said maybe next month we can go grocery shopping again,” Sophie*, a CityYouth attendee and CityKidz volunteer, explained. 

Her mother could go grocery shopping. Next month. Maybe.

Even with a Costco card and chest freezer, for most of us, the prospect of not buying groceries for a month is unthinkable. But an activity many of us consider a mild inconvenience can be a long-awaited treat for many families in our community.

For too many kids like Sophie, food insecurity and hunger are cruel and familiar realities.

Every parent wants to provide their child with the healthy food they need to grow and thrive. No parent wants to tell their hungry child that there is no food for them to eat.

Can you imagine the agony of explaining to your child that the cereal they had for breakfast will have to tie them over until tomorrow?

Sadly, this is the heartbreaking situation parents in Hamilton face when their income is too low to meet the rising cost of food.

In Hamilton, nearly 40% of food bank users are children and this tragic number is rising. School nutrition programs keep over 30,000 children fed during the school week.

But on weekends, thousands of children in our city go hungry.

Many of these children and youth attend CityKidz. We know this because we see it in their worried eyes, hear it in their growling bellies and anxious voices asking as they arrive: What are we eating today?

We recognized early on that the kids attending our programs were arriving hungry. So we started to offer food. At first, our offerings were humble. But growing support from people in the community like you has enabled us to provide the children attending our programs with increasingly substantial meals.

We do everything we can to provide our kids with as much nourishing food as their growing bodies need. We offer things like fresh fruit, yogurt, sandwiches and wraps, muffins and snacks.

How You Can Help

It’s people like you who make this possible! Your generosity is the only thing standing in the way of hunger for so many CityKidz children. It’s your donation that gives kids like Sophie a warm meal every time they attend a CityKidz program.

You know how important a full belly and nourished body are, especially for growing children and youth.  You know that maybe doesn’t belong in a sentence about going grocery shopping.

CityKidz’ fall season has started and over 1,600 children and youth regularly attend our program sessions. We need your help to ensure their bellies are full so that each child has the opportunity to thrive, dream big and reach their full potential.