Empty bellies hinder bright futures. In Canada, a surprisingly high number of young people face food insecurity. This means they lack consistent access to enough nutritious food for a healthy and active life. This can have serious consequences for their overall development, learning abilities, and long-term well-being. Thankfully, several dedicated organizations are making a significant impact in the fight against youth hunger. Let’s explore some of these remarkable groups and the innovative ways they’re tackling this critical issue.

Breakfast Club of Canada

The Breakfast Club of Canada is a national organization committed to ensuring students across the country have access to a healthy morning meal. Founded in 1994, the organization operates programs in over 3,000 schools, serving nutritious breakfasts to children in all ten provinces and two territories. By providing a reliable source of morning nourishment, the Breakfast Club of Canada aims to support student success, both in and out of the classroom. Their approach goes beyond simply providing food; they strive to create welcoming environments that encourage regular attendance and foster a sense of belonging among students.

little girl and logo Breakfast Club

Key Impact

  • Serves over 30 million meals annually
  • Reaches 3,000 breakfast programs nationwide
  • Operates in all ten provinces and two territories
Women Cook

Second Harvest

Second Harvest, founded in 1985, is Canada’s largest food rescue charity. They work tirelessly to recover surplus food from businesses across the supply chain, including farmers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. By diverting this edible food from landfills, Second Harvest not only reduces waste but also ensures that nutritious meals reach those who need them most.

Through partnerships with over 2,300 social service organizations, including school programs, Second Harvest distributes rescued food to communities across the country. Their efforts have a twofold impact: reducing environmental harm caused by food waste and alleviating hunger among vulnerable populations.

Key Initiatives

  • Feeding Our Future: Provides meals to children during the summer months
  • Food rescue and redistribution across the supply chain
  • Partnerships with social service organizations and school programs

SHARE Family & Community Services

SHARE Family & Community Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families in need throughout the Tri-Cities area of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra in British Columbia. Established in 1972, SHARE offers a range of programs designed to address various aspects of community well-being, with a strong focus on food security.

They operate a food bank that provides emergency access to nutritious meals and groceries for those facing financial hardship. Additionally, SHARE runs targeted initiatives like the Backpack Buddies program, which ensures children have access to healthy food even when school is not in session.

share family logo and woman with children on background

Key Programs

  • Food bank providing emergency food access
  • Backpack Buddies: Sends kids home with meals and snacks for the weekend
  • Collaboration with local businesses, schools, and volunteers

Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK)

Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK) is a Calgary-based organization with a mission to ensure no child goes hungry at school. Recognizing that hunger is a significant barrier to learning, BB4CK works closely with schools and community volunteers to prepare and deliver nutritious lunches to students who would otherwise face food insecurity.

By providing reliable access to healthy meals, BB4CK aims to support students’ physical, mental, and academic well-being. Their community-driven model engages a dedicated network of volunteers who prepare lunches in kitchens across the city, which are then delivered to participating schools each morning.

Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids

Impact and Scope

  • Provides over 4,200 lunches daily
  • Serves more than 220 schools in Calgary
  • Community-driven model engaging volunteers

The Food Sharing Project

The Food Sharing Project has been a pillar of support for student nutrition in the regions of Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington since its establishment in 1985. The organization works diligently to source healthy, nourishing food that meets provincial nutrition guidelines, ensuring that students have access to the fuel they need to learn and grow.

Each week, The Food Sharing Project delivers this carefully curated food directly to schools, where it is used to run breakfast, lunch, and snack programs. By providing a consistent supply of nutritious options, the organization aims to support student well-being and academic success. Looking to the future, The Food Sharing Project is committed to expanding its reach and deepening its impact within the school system.

The Food Sharing Project

Operations and Goals

  • Sources food meeting provincial nutrition guidelines
  • Delivers food weekly to schools for breakfast, lunch, or snack programs
  • Aims to expand reach and deepen impact within the school system
People with food in their hands in Mealshare T-shirt


Mealshare was an innovative organization that partnered with restaurants across Canada to combat youth hunger. Founded in 2013, Mealshare developed a unique “Buy One, Give One” model that allowed diners to make a tangible difference in their communities simply by ordering a meal.

Participating restaurants featured Mealshare-branded items on their menus, and when a customer ordered one of these dishes, the restaurant contributed a portion of the proceeds to provide a meal to a youth in need. This simple yet effective approach allowed Mealshare to grow from a local grassroots initiative to a national program, engaging restaurants and diners in the fight against youth hunger. However, as of June 2023, Mealshare has announced that it will be closing its doors after nearly a decade of operation.

Over the years, Mealshare partnered with numerous restaurants, including Terroni Adelaide, Shy’s Place, Milestones Cambie, Trattoria Caffe Italia, Pho Dau Bo, Vista 18, Wellington Gastropub, Una Pizza Saskatoon, Floyds Diner, Blarney Stone, Bridgette Bar, 4th Spot, and Street Monkeys, among others.

Key Stats and Impact

  • Over 1,200 partner restaurants in more than 450 communities
  • Provided over 3.8 million meals throughout its operation
  • Supported local charities and international efforts through Save the Children

Although Mealshare will no longer be operating, its legacy of engaging communities in the fight against youth hunger will continue to inspire future initiatives. Partner charities, such as Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK), have committed to carrying on the spirit of Mealshare’s mission through new programs like “Feeding Futures,” which will continue to involve local restaurants in providing meals to youth in need.

Taking Action: How You Can Help

The fight against youth hunger requires a collective effort. Here are some ways you can get involved:

  1. Donate: Support the organizations mentioned above or find one in your local community. For example, the Breakfast Club of Canada accepts online donations, and Second Harvest offers various giving options, including monthly donations and legacy giving.
  2. Volunteer: Offer your time and skills to help with meal preparation, distribution, or fundraising. Organizations like Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK) rely on volunteers to prepare and deliver lunches to schools, while SHARE Family & Community Services welcomes volunteers in their food bank and Backpack Buddies program.
  3. Raise Awareness: Talk to your friends and family about youth hunger and encourage them to get involved. Share information about the organizations making a difference and the impact of their work on social media or through personal conversations.
  4. Advocate: Contact your local representatives and urge them to support policies that address food insecurity. This can include advocating for increased funding for school meal programs, supporting initiatives that address the root causes of poverty, and promoting food waste reduction efforts.

Remember, every action counts. Whether you donate, volunteer, raise awareness, or advocate for change, your efforts contribute to building a future where no child goes hungry.

Note: This article serves as an informational review of prominent organizations dedicated to combating youth hunger in Canada. We are not affiliated with any of the organizations listed. Our goal is to provide readers with insights into the impactful work these groups are doing to help address food insecurity among youth.