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Brantford Smile Cookie campaign raises over $135,000 for children’s programming

Local NewsBrantford Smile Cookie campaign raises over $135,000 for children’s programming

Representatives for Brant Food for Thought and the Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation expressed their gratitude for this year’s Smile Cookie Campaign on Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

With the help of the community and its engagement, this year’s campaign, led by local Tim Hortons Restaurant owners, raised a total of $135,879.10. The proceeds of the campaign will be evenly shared between the two agencies for a total of $67,939.55 each.

Representatives for Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation and local Tim Hortons owners and staff, pose for a photo on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Pictured in back row, (from l-r): Brantford Police Chief Robert A. Davis, Lansdowne Board; Orville Bernard, Tim Hortons owner; Alex Hammond, Manager for Tim Hortons 610 West St. location. Pictured in front row, (from l-r): Jennifer White, Executive Director Lansdowne Foundation; Candace Kingyens, Senior Fund Development, Lansdowne Foundation; Ken Molloy, Tim Hortons owner; Melissa Diab, Tim Hortons owner. Photo courtesy, Joshua Paxton Communications Lansdowne Children’s Centre.

Jennifer White, Executive Director of the Lansdowne Foundation, said that the funds raised from this year’s campaign have made a significant contribution to Lansdowne’s annual budget, and that it will help the team to continue to support programs like Every Kids Counts.

“Community support is critical to the ongoing success of our child and youth recreation programs at Lansdowne,” said White. “…The Every Kid Counts program is not government funded, and it’s only with the help of generous donations like the funds raised with Smile Cookies, that we’re able to provide support workers at no cost to families so that children and youth with special needs, have the opportunity to attend camps and community programs with their peers.”

On behalf of herself and the rest of the foundation staff, she thanked the community and participating Tim Hortons locations for their contribution to the campaign.

“Whether people bought cookies, helped decorate cookies, or whether they bought the personality pins, we’re so incredibly grateful for everyone’s support,” said White. “This is just a huge amount of money that will help the kids.”

Representatives for Brant Food for Thought and local Tim Hortons owners and staff, pose for a photo on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Pictured in back row, (from l-r): Judy Maidment, Community Development Coordinator, Brant Food For Thought; Orville Bernard, Tim Hortons owner; Alex Hammond, Manager for Tim Hortons 610 West St. location. Pictured in front row, (from l-r): Nancy Waldschmidt, Community Development Coordinator, Brant Food For Thought; Gisèle Budgell, Program Director; Ken Molloy, Tim Hortons owner; Melissa Diab, Tim Hortons owner.

Gisèle Budgell, Program Director for Brant Food for Thought, said that the campaign has given the not-for-profit the ability to continue to grow and serve the nutrition needs of kids across the community.

“Since 2019, the Tim Hortons owners and the Brantford community have collectively helped raise close to $650,000 for Brant Food for Thought through the Smile Cookie campaign, and it has made an incredible difference for us,” she said. “We’ve been able to increase our nutrition programs by over 40 per cent and we’re currently supporting over 11,000 students across the city weekly. We now have more breakfast programs and more snack programs in the schools, and more students are getting access to nutritious foods.”

Budgell said that throughout the years, the donations have allowed Brant Food for Thought to purchase and install critical equipment in schools such as double door coolers that are used for fresh produce, white milk and other perishable foods.

“If there isn’t proper refrigeration in a school, then we can’t run a safe program and so the schools are thrilled and it’s been an incredible investment. We want to thank all the Tim Hortons owners in Brantford. This entire community really gets behind the Smile Cookie campaign and it’s been awesome for our organization, and we can’t thank everyone enough,” said Budgell.

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