Local Brantford teacher and North Park Collegiate guidance counsellor, Liz Moruzi, receives a coveted spot as torchbearer for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am games.  Three-time Olympian, Curt Harnett, presented Moruzi with her official torchbearer attire.

In addition to her work responsibilities at the high school, Liz volunteers her time to co-coordinate a breakfast program supported by Brant Food For Thought ensuring that students receive equitable access to nutritious foods to help them succeed academically.

2015 Toronto Pan Am Torch Relay

2015 Toronto Pan Am Torch Relay

This past January, Breakfast For Learning, one of Brant Food For Thought’s national charity funders, worked with its National Premier Sponsor, President’s Choice Children’s Charity, to nominate key nutrition program volunteers to be a part of this unique, once in a lifetime run.  With less than a 24 hour turnaround to complete and submit her application, Moruzi was one of 3000 people nominated to share the Pan Am spirit in one of over 130 communities.

In a news release, Loblaw Companies Limited Senior Vice-President, Uwe Stueckmann, stated that they were “proud to use

[their] torchbearer spots to spotlight community volunteers and leaders like Liz [Moruzi] who are using nutrition as a way to improve their communities.  Our hope is that a lasting legacy of these games will be a greater awareness of proper nutrition and eating for success in everyday life.”

Moruzi, along with two other coworkers, assist daily with food shopping and preparation of nutritious breakfast foods and healthy snack items for access to all students in the high school.  Passionate about her involvement with student nutrition, Moruzi says that they are “not only helping kids now, but that maybe they’re setting them up for a lifetime of healthy eating by modelling healthy food choices”.

Well-documented research shows that there is a clear link between good nutrition, improved school performance and better overall health.  Well-nourished and active children and youth are more likely to be better prepared to learn and maintain their health, as they move into adulthood.

Studies show that poor nutrition can create a slew of learning challenges for youth:  inattention, poor self-esteem, irritability and aggression, leading to lower literacy rates and absenteeism.

Brant Food For Thought is proud to be represented by Liz Moruzi for her role in establishing a student nutrition program at North Park Collegiate Vocational School.  “We would like to acknowledge and recognize the efforts of more than 450 volunteers like Liz who are making a tangible difference in their school communities,” says Gisèle Budgell, Program Coordinator.  “What a student feeds their body every morning has a tremendous impact on how they will learn, work and play for the balance of the school day.  That’s our mission:  enhancing a child’s ability to learn in school by providing equitable access to the most nutritious foods possible.”

On May 21, Brant Food For Thought will host their annual volunteer appreciation luncheon in recognition of many hours and dedication by volunteers who make the programs happen on a daily basis.

Let’s cheer on volunteers like Liz Moruzi who will run her segment of the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games Torch Relay on July 9 by using social media #CelebrateAndShare, #TO2015torch, @moruzi_liz and @BrantFFT.