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A 10-year-old boy waited outside the locked doors of a school breakfast program. The program was to start at 8:15 and the child stood outside at 7:15 in the dark, in the cold and alone. He explained he had not had any food on the weekend and was hungry. Could he please have some food? This child inspired the launch of the Food4Kids program.

The reality of child hunger became clear through this experience. A steering committee was formed in November 2011 to determine the need and scope of developing a weekend feeding program for at-risk children within Hamilton and Halton. Our program is another way to support families who may also rely on other ways to access food such as food banks or community fridges.

For many children, hunger is not just an occasional missed meal - it is a way of life. Children who live with chronic hunger develop physically and socially at a slower pace than their peers, experience higher levels of anxiety, hyperactivity, irritability and aggression. Even relatively short nutritional deficiencies can negatively impact a child’s health. 

When children receive the nourishment they need, a whole new world opens up.

They can concentrate better in class, have higher energy levels, improve test scores

and attendance, and become more social. 

If we are truly committed to breaking the root causes of poverty, we need to focus resources on children ensuring they are provided the tools needed to grow, thrive and succeed.



A program model was developed with a focus on 3 distinct areas:

1. Food provided in food packages would be healthy

2. Each child in the home would receive their own food package,

to ensure nourishment of all children in the home

3. To ensure a non-stigmatizing process to distribute food packages to participants 


We currently facilitate programs in 69 Hamilton elementary schools and 10 Hamilton high schools.

Each week, these schools receive over 1,600 packages of healthy food to distribute

to children enrolled in the program.  



To provide packages of healthy food for elementary and secondary school students with little or no access to food during the weekend and summer months.


While we recognize we cannot eliminate poverty or hunger in Hamilton, we can ensure that any child sustaining entire weekends without food, will be fed.


Community Leadership

Purpose and Growth

Barrier Free

Collaborative Partnerships


"He arrived at school each day 
with just one piece of white bread
that was moldy"

— Parent

"I never thought our family would depend on others for food. With a medical problem, I had no choice but to quit work. As a single parent raising 2 great kids, there is barely enough money for rent, little money for food and absolutely no money for extras. When the school asked if I would like to involve my kids in the Food4Kids program, all I could do was cry. Knowing my children have food brings comfort. The fresh fruits, soups and healthy snacks are appreciated. Thank you for this service. The volunteers at Food4Kids are angels."

i never thoughT our family would depend on others for food

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