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Local organizations to benefit from Smile Cookie campaign

Local NewsLocal organizations to benefit from Smile Cookie campaign

Brant Food For Thought and Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation are helping our community to get ready for the 2024 Tim Hortons #SmileCookie program with the launch of a new online headquarters for registering volunteer decorators, preparing pre-orders and sharing smiles.

The limited-edition cookies will only be available from April 29 through May 5, 2024 at 19 participating Tim Hortons restaurants in Brantford. 100 per cent of the proceeds from every Smile Cookie sale will be shared equitably in support of the two local charities who support children and youth in Brantford, Brant Food For Thought and Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation.

The new web page, at www.lansdownecentre.ca/smilecookie helps community members and organizations to connect with local Tim Hortons restaurants for volunteer cookie decorator opportunities during the week long fundraising campaign, and also provides the addresses of participating Tims locations where multi-box (bulk) cookie pre-orders can be placed.

Last year, the program raised $152,974.30, a contribution that Brant Food For Thought Program Director Gisèle Budgell said,”Couldn’t have come at a better time.”

“Smile Cookie week has made a tremendous difference in the success and sustainability of local, universal student nutrition programs, contributing over $580,000 since 2019. Food prices are at an all-time high and families are feeling the pressure of ensuring that their children get the nourishment they need to succeed at school. When food prices are high, families are forced to choose less nutritious options at home and we know that this has serious health implications, particularly for children.”

Population growth has been a driving force behind increased need for the support of children and youth in Brantford. The school-based nutrition programs provided by Brant Food For Thought experienced over 35 per cent increase in demand in the past three years, now serving over 11,170 students on a weekly basis.

“We have grown from supporting 48 programs in March of 2022, with 8,700 children and youth benefitting from 857,000 healthy breakfasts and meals during the school year to a current 60 programs and a projected 1.3 million breakfasts and snacks this school year alone. Smile Cookie week has been critical in bridging this gap for thousands of children and youth to be food secure during the school day, by having equitable access to the healthiest foods possible to help students maximize their learning success at school and beyond”.

Lansdowne Children’s Centre is facing similar increases in demand. The Centre recently shared a pivot to the community funded Every Kid Counts program, expanding to include a wider age range of children in response to a growing number of requests for support. Smile Cookie contributions have been pivotal in helping sustain and grow Every Kid Counts, now providing support worker assistance for children as young as 4 years, and up to 18 years old. This support enables children and youth with special needs to attend recreation activities in the community with their peers, including summer camps and day programs.

“The need in our community is very real. We’re so thankful for the help of Tim Hortons and community fundraising programs like #SmileCookie. Our goal is to make sure that every kid and family gets the help they need.”

Community members, as individuals and organizations, can support this fundraising effort with the purchase of Smile Cookies at any of the 19 participating Tim Hortons restaurants in Brantford. Pre-order forms are available now for bulk purchases, in-store and online.

“We’re thrilled to see corporate orders trending. Organizations are ordering ahead, by the dozen, to share with customers and employees. It’s a great way to support both our programs and to show appreciation for the people in your business. There’s a good chance someone in your audience is connected to a child or youth supported by Lansdowne Children’s Centre or Brant Food for Thought.” 

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