Community fundraiser puts students’ health at the forefront
It’s difficult to imagine, but there are children today in Manitoba who continue to experience hunger. Thankfully, one group continues to work tirelessly to make that reality a thing of the past.
The Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba (CNCM) is a mainstay in the province with a visible community presence. However, of all the work it performs nothing is tastier than its annual Stone Soup competition.
Now into its eighth year, this friendly foodie challenge puts 12 different restaurants, including TecVoc High School’s culinary program, against one another as the community decides whose cuisine reigns supreme. This year’s Stone Soup challenge raised more than $20,000, a new record. The best part of the amicable competition is that every single dollar will be used to feed students. This year, CNCM reports more than 32,000 Manitoba students will benefit through 287 unique breakfast, lunch, and snack programs.
This year, Rudy’s Eat and Drink earned bragging rights as the judge’s top pick for its chicken corn chowder soup while the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Catering Services was named the people’s choice winner with its candied bacon and potato chowder with Bothwell cheddar cheese.
The program is one that Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) strongly believes in because, at the heart of it, students are the real winners.
“In order for kids to be successful academically, they need to be fed,” explains Pat Bugera Krawchuk, DFM’s nutrition programs manager. “If they’re not well-nourished, they’re not ready to learn.”
Each year, DFM contributes its human resources and sponsorship investment to continue to draw attention to the positive work done by CNCM and initiatives such as Stone Soup.
“We felt this is something we can do to give back,” she says. “It felt like a really good fit to be able to work together with CNCM.”
For CNCM, the feeling of respect is a well-paved two-way street.
“Having the Dairy Farmers [of Manitoba’s] support is tremendous,” says Clara Birnie, a registered dietitian and program dietitian at CNCM. “They’re such an important ally in this cause. It’s not only Stone Soup—they’re always an important partner in all the work that we do.”
Birnie and the rest of the CNCM staff also promote the consumption of whole foods, as opposed to convenience-style food and there’s not much that is more whole than milk, a key reason the provincial organization is proud to continue on with such support from DFM.
“Milk is one of those foods that’s part of Canada’s Food Guide as a recommendation to support a healthy lifestyle,” says Birnie.
For Bugera Krawchuk, the CNCM represents a group that prioritizes healthy children and families, which will continue to be an easy goal for DFM to support.
“We’re really pleased with the work that they do and we’re proud to be supporters any way we can,” she says.
Photos supplied by Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba
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