Smile Cookie Campaign Raises Over $18.8 Million Across Canada

BRANTFORD, ON – Representatives of Brant Food For Thought and Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation could not say enough about their appreciation for the Brantford community, and the overwhelming response to the 2024 Smile Cookie campaign hosted by Tim Hortons restaurant owners.

Brant Food For Thought Program Director, Gisèle Budgell (front, 2nd from R), credits Tim Hortons Smile Cookie campaign and the support of the community for the organization’s ability to grow and serve the nutrition needs of children and youth across the city.

“We’ve been participating in Smile Cookie since 2019, which has generated close to $650,000 in contributions for our organization alone,” shared Program Director, Gisèle Budgell. “This incredible support has enabled us to scale up operations by over 40%, reaching nearly every school in the region. We currently facilitate 60 Universal Student Nutrition Programs, supporting over 11,000 students weekly, with equitable access to the most nutritious foods during the school day.”

The donations have also allowed Brant Food For Thought to purchase and install critical equipment in school settings, including double-door coolers, to provide proper refrigeration for fresh produce, white milk and other perishable foods. The program projects serving 1.3 million breakfasts and snacks this school year alone.

“The schools are thrilled. It has been an incredible investment, and we want to thank all the Tim Hortons owners. This community, in particular, really gets behind the Smile Cookie campaign. It’s been awesome for our organization, and we can’t say thank you enough.”

Partnering with Brant Food For Thought was Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation, the charitable arm of its Pediatric Clinic, that helps children with special needs realize their full potential.

“Community support is critical to the ongoing success of our child and youth recreation programs at Lansdowne,” shared Jennifer White, Executive Director of the Lansdowne Foundation.

“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.”

With Brantford and Brant County’s population on the rise, the demand for support services has continued to climb. The Every Kid Counts program offered by Lansdowne has expanded to welcome more children and youth from a broader age range in response to the greater need, but with expansion comes costs.

“Smile Cookie participation has made a significant contribution to our annual budget, and we’re so thankful for the support and partnership of this community, and all our participating Tim Hortons restaurant owners. They’re just the best.”