VIDEO: 2 Million Children Going to School Hungry

Mario Toneguzzi’s guest on Business Insider: Daniel Germain, Chair of the National School Food Program Advisory Committee, discusses the problem of children going to school hungry in Canada.


Press Release

It’s back-to-school season and did you know that more than two million children are at risk of going to school hungry?  That’s two million too many. For this reason, leaders from across Canada are urging for an immediate federal mandate for a National School Food Program that will help to solve this problem. Across the country thousands of communities, schools, organizations, and volunteers are working tirelessly to provide healthy breakfast, lunch, and snacks for students in need, but they are struggling financially to meet the needs of our school age children and youth.

Canada is the only G7 country without a National School Food Program, and it is one of the few Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries without one. With hundreds of organizations across the country working tirelessly to support this growing need, Federal leadership is the missing piece, and Canadian children need a National School Food Program now. A federally funded National School Food Program would mean this existing national network would maintain, improve, and expand programs to deliver support where it’s needed.

Daniel Germain, founder and past president of Breakfast Club of Canada, has brought together an Advisory Committee of leaders from across the country – the National School Food Program Advisory Committee. The Committee is working collaboratively with federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and local school food programs, to develop a framework for implementing a National School Food Program. This program will build on existing policies and capacities, invest in local food infrastructure and share best practices across the country.

“Canada needs a National School Food Program today,” says Daniel Germain, Chair of the National School Food Program Advisory Committee.  “Hungry children cannot wait any longer. The pandemic has profoundly accelerated the need, with the number of children at risk almost doubling in just over a year.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the most vulnerable the hardest and exacerbated existing food insecurity among families and children. The need for a sustainable, permanent solution to food insecurity has never been greater.

“For children, food insecurity is particularly devastating. Hungry children are at risk of decreased concentration, memory, and learning as well as increased behavioural problems and hyperactivity,” says Germain. “Not having enough healthy food can have serious implications for a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement, and future economic prosperity.”

A National School Food Program is a critical part of both a continued pandemic response and a resilient recovery and would have an immediate impact on families and children that that are currently food insecure. It is the best, most sustainable long-term solution to ensure children are nourished and ready to learn.

The solution? Canada can feed kids now.

To learn how you can help, please visit

About the Canada Can Feed Kids Now Campaign

Canada Can Feed Kids Now is a national public outreach campaign to ask for a federal mandate to enact a National School Food Program. The campaign goal is to have Canadians send two million emails calling for action — one for every child at risk of going to school hungry. There are #twomilliontoomany.

The campaign was created by a dedicated group of leaders from across the country who have come together and established an advisory committee to support the implementation of a National School Food Program. In consultation with private stakeholders and student nutrition organizations across the country, the advisory committee will work collaboratively with federal, provincial, and territorial governments to provide a framework for implementation.

Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works as a freelance writer and editor as well as a consultant in communications and media relations/training.

He is VP of Content & Strategy for MegaPixx Media, which owns and operates YYC Business, and owner of Mario Toneguzzi Communications Inc. 

Mario is a regular contributor to various national and local publications including Retail Insider, RENX, Globe and Mail, The Star, National Post, Real Estate Magazine, Troy Media, YYC Business, Grocery Business Magazine and many others. He’s also a host for Calgary and Edmonton on Canada’s Podcast network. And he’s a regular contributor of content for companies and organizations to populate their websites.

Frequent commentator on television and radio on business news, issues and trends.

Named in 2021 as one of the Top 10 Business Journalists in the World by PR News – the only Canadian to make the list.

Part of the Herald’s National Newspaper Award winning newsroom for coverage of the June 2013 floods in Calgary.

If you would like to be interviewed by Mario for Five Questions or Business Insider, he can be reached at 

Mario can tell your story, share your message and amplify it to a wider audience through various digital channels.


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