Charity of Hope Brantford comes through once again with a generous donation of $5,000 to support student nutrition programs in Brantford.  Their 2nd annual fundraising event, a Valentine’s themed “Rock Your World Dinner & Dance”, featured the music of Steven Branchaud & The Ugly Dog, along with sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and a delicious Italian meal catered by Mercasa Banquet Services.  Other event partners included Liaison College South CoastStrodes BBQ & Deli, Petit Gourmet and Sweet Bakery.

This annual event raises funds to help bring hope and joy to the children and youth of this community.

Pictured above: Charity of Hope Brantford Chair, Tom Mercante, presents cheque to Gisèle Budgell, Brant Food For Thought program director, along with distinguished members of the Charity of Hope Brantford Committee.

Budgell shared with the Committee the impact of their donation from the previous year.  “The Charity of Hope Brantford is helping us support 1,035 students who are benefitting from the provision of 19,608 cartons of white milk for this current school year ending in June.”

One hundred percent of the Charity of Hope Brantford’s donation was allocated to support one of Brant Food For Thought’s newest nutrition initiatives, the White Milk Program.  Brant Food For Thought believes that white milk provides a number of essential nutrients to help our children and youth grow and learn to their full potential.

“Universal student nutrition programs supported by Brant Food For Thought are giving all participating school children equitable access to the most nutritious foods possible, such as whole fruits and vegetables and white milk,” says Budgell.  “This is really about increasing the nutrition environment in our schools and modeling the healthiest food choices for our children and youth.”

Anecdotal evidence gathered from a large school participating in the White Milk Program points to the success of the program.  For this particular school, with additional financial needs in the neighbourhood and barriers to fundraising activities, the cost of serving milk for the entire school population was cost prohibitive.  Citing the Educational Assistant in charge of the nutrition program, “We don’t have $4,000 to run a program like that.”

Thanks to the Charity of Hope Brantford, the school is able to offer an additional breakfast day and according to the EA, “this has had a huge impact on the students.”

Here are some of the student comments when interviewed about the milk program:

A Grade 1 student shared, “I pack my own bowl for “milk and cereal day”.

A Grade 3 student said that, “Friday was their favourite day.”

The Grade 6 students said that, “milk is a treat”.

Parents and educators alike also are excited to have this nutritious option in their school.

One grandparent was in the school on a Friday during a “milk and cereal day”.  They were very surprised and pleased that this was available to the students at no charge.

The school Principal shared that “it gives the students a choice that they might not otherwise have or be able to choose from at home.”


Upon accepting the invitation to participate in the White Milk Program, the nutrition program coordinator had this to say.  “The kids will be thrilled to get milk and cereal every Friday. They have been asking for the start date. The cereal is in the bags and ready to go.  I do believe that milk does give the most nutritional value of any of the dairy products.  We are very grateful to have been able to offer it with consistency this school year.  Thank you for making milk possible for our school.”

And thank you, Charity of Hope Brantford, for once again, “rockin’ our nutrition world” with hope for helping our students be well-nourished with the most nutritious foods possible and contributing to their ability to learn before, during and after the school day.

The Charity of Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving hope to children and youth in need across Canada. Since 1999, the Charity of Hope has brought joy and hope to hundreds of children, youth and their families.  Together, with their partners, they have raised over one million dollars for those in need.

Charity of Hope‘s mission is three-fold:

  • To generate resources through fundraising initiatives and community partnerships, and use those funds to make an impact in the lives of children.
  • To attract volunteers and partners who are passionate about helping children to achieve their hopes, dreams and full potential.
  • To transform communities through helping children, youth and their families who need support.

Brant Food For Thought would also like to thank all the guests in attendance and recognize the many partners responsible for making this event a great success: Scotiabank, CARSTAR Brantford, Hub International, Brantford NissanCARSTAR Corporate, and Discount Car & Truck Rental.