Hungry In Canada

Hungry in Canada
A piece for #FeedItForward

by Joanna Sable

Hungry in Canada - how can this be true? Aren’t we a first world country? Aren’t we a country of farms, lakes and oceans with plentiful resources? Well, the answer is: yes, we are. But the under-privileged don’t often receive these resources.

Over four million Canadians deal with hunger on a daily basis. From the Mom who turns off the lights in order to give her children peanut butter and bread, to the elderly man who cannot survive off government assistance.

I am thrilled that Maple Leaf Foods and Gastropost have teamed up for the #FeedItForward campaign, a national program that recognizes Canadians with a true passion to prevent children and families nationwide from going hungry. I have chosen to highlight  an incredible charity, Kids Cook to Care (KCTC).

While on an apple picking field trip in Ontario, with their two youngest children, KCTC was conceived by two globally-minded women now living in Toronto. Jill Lewis, returned to her hometown of Toronto after living and working in New York as a publicist while raising three children.  American expat Julie Levin lived and worked as a caterer in Tokyo, Japan, while raising three children.

With their combined backgrounds in food, PR, global issues and motherhood, they believed that they could create opportunities for kids to give back and expand their world through knowledge of food.

KCTC focuses on innovative programs for kids between the ages of six and 16 to learn about how they can make a difference in the world through the power of food.


Through the launch of the KCTC Community Meal Program in 2009, Julie and Jill have ignited a movement where children learn about new cultures, basic cooking skills and the power of empathy while feeding those in need. Together, they are committed to inspiring families to support their communities to better our world one bite at a time. Given their collective energy and focus, the KCTC movement is just beginning! KCTC goes out into the community once a month with a group of 12 aspiring chefs to team up with a professional chef in a soup kitchen. Here, the kids learn about cooking skills, healthy food and giving back. They make a meal for approximately 100 people, followed by serving and cleaning up. This charity is growing and is aiming to increase their volunteer cooking initiatives to two times per month due to its overwhelming success.

The next person I would like to nominate has come from incredibly humble beginnings as a refugee, and has been to food banks in order to eat. She has not forgotten the generosity of others.

Her name is Irene Matys, of The Spicy Olive blog. Please also have a look at her incredible story on my blog, under my Great Ethnic Home Cooks series. Irene, a mother of three daughters, tirelessly donates much of her time to Plan B Organic Farms.  

Plan B Organic Farms was established in 1997 by Rodrigo Venturelli, Alvaro Venturelli and Melanie Golba. They are now in their 19th season growing organic produce at their 50-acre farm in Flamborough, which is Certified Organic by OCCP-Pro-Cert Canada.



• Growing delicious, high quality vegetables, herbs, and fruits using organic farming methods that Plan B are in harmony with our environment.

• Providing accessible, affordable, and freshly harvested organic produce to households in our region.

• Working in partnership with other local organic farmers to reliably provide our shareholders with the variety of crops that our region offers.

• Creating a place where our community can come to learn about organic farming, the source of our food, and the natural cycles of our bioregion.

Irene has worked with Plan B and involved her youngest daughters’ school in a double give-back. The students are learning where their food comes from and receive CSA boxes. Plan B is a big part of the school’s fundraisers. This enables Plan B and Irene to offer healthy, affordable farm fresh food to those in need.

Involvement is necessary and something each and every one of us should do given the current needs of our fellow Canadians. Our mandate should be NO CANADIAN SHOULD GO TO BED HUNGRY.

Please have a look at the following links:


Official program hashtag: #feeditforward
Twitter handle: @MapleLeafFoods
Facebook handle:
Instagram handle:

and the incredible forward-thinking people at;


Twitter handle: @gastropost
Facebook handle:
Instagram handle: 

This blog post was promoted by Gastropost + Maple Leaf Foods but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.