‘A 10 year old boy waited outside the locked doors of a church breakfast program. The program was to start at 8:15 a.m. and the child arrived at 7:15 a.m. It was dark, it was cold and he was alone. He explained that he had not had any food over the weekend and was hungry. Could he please have some food? This child inspired the launch of Food4Kids.

We wish we could say this was an isolated occurrence, but there are 1,500 kids in Hamilton and 450 kids in Halton, with limited or no access to food each weekend.

It’s hard to believe that the kids in our own community go hungry, but it’s a reality faced by many children. It’s not that parents don’t want to feed their kids, it’s that they can’t. Whether it’s the worsening economy, job loss, physical or mental illness or they are refuges who have fled their home country, there are several reasons that parents find themselves turning to Food4Kids for support.

Food4Kids provides packages of healthy food to children with limited or no access to food during the weekends. Food packages are assembled by volunteers and delivered to schools each and every Friday. The food packages are quietly tucked into the child’s knapsack to ensure a non-stigmatizing approach. When the child arrives home on a Friday evening, they open their knapsack to find it filled with healthy food.

The agency currently provides weekend food to 1,050 children in Hamilton, 450 children in Halton and hand delivers food to 600 children throughout the summer months. It costs just $10 to provide 1 child with a healthy weekend food package or $400 to feed a child each weekend for an entire school year. In addition, it costs $400 to provide 1 child with a complete supply of food during the summer.

When approached by Urbanicity Magazine to partner bringing together talented local restaurants and our community’s love for tacos, all to feed at-risk children, it just made sense. We are hoping Hamiltonians will find any excuse for a night out to support local restaurants and help kids. As we launch this unique concept, the social media buzz has generated a spirit of fun and motivation to stand behind this event and to stand behind our kids.

Funds raised through Taco De Mayo will be used for one purpose, to provide an 8 week supply of food for the 600 kids in our summer program. While hunger exists around the world, it is our hope to address hunger right here in our own community.

Many are not aware that Food4Kids is 100% funded through donations or one-time grants.  Food4Kids does not receive sustainable funding through any level of government. It has been our community’s resolve to take care of these kids, who through no fault of their own, are going hungry.

Please enjoy Taco De Mayo from May 1st – 31st and keep in mind that $1 of every Taco De Mayo dish sold will go directly to Food4Kids.

Visit food4kidshamilton.ca for more ways you can help ensure that our community’s most impoverished children will not have to spend another weekend wondering how they will be fed.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

– Lena Bassford
Executive director, Food4Kids, Hamilton