What happens when a child goes to school hungry?

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. – World Food Summit 1996

Did you know:

  • Canada remains one of the few developed countries without a national meal program for children. **
  • 1 in 3 children in Toronto live in poverty +
  • Food bank use in the GTA has risen since the recession. *
  • Children under 18 represent approximately 40.7% of food bank clients in Canada, and the situation of child poverty has not improved since 1989 when Canada had made an all-party resolution to end child poverty. This representation is directly tied to the level of household income, 50% of recipients are families with children. *
  • In 2007, nearly half of all Toronto schoolchildren went to school hungry. +
  • 31 % of elementary school students and 62 % of high school students start their day without a nutritious breakfast **
  • Although Canada is one the wealthiest countries in the world, 15% or 3.7 million Canadians are considered “food insecure”(“The Daily” Study: Food Insecurity in Canadian Households, 2001). This means that many Canadians are not sure where their next meal is coming from or if they’ll have enough resources to prepare a sufficient and nutritious meal for themselves or their families.
  • Unmet nutritional needs make it very difficult to learn, pay attention and behave properly. Research shows that hungry children are sick more often and have lower academic achievement. (Blessings in a Backpack USA – cited from USDA.org research.)


+ Toronto Foundation for Student Success
* Daily Bread Food Bank
** Breakfast for Learning