I don’t think there is anything quite as nostalgic to me as a big bowl of cereal. It takes me right back to being a little boy and watching Saturday morning cartoons. A memory that I love, and something that I actually still enjoy never-you-mind how many years later. ?
To celebrate #NationalCerealDay I thought I’d share some of my favourite memories and something pretty frickin’ amazing that Kellogg’s is up to shed some light on an important topic.
I wasn’t your typical little boy. Shocker, I know. I loved sugary cereal of course as a product of the 80s, but I also used to ask for Raisin Bran and Mini Wheats regularly – both of which I still enjoy having in the house.
I think the important part of this memory is to acknowledge a very important part of my life and that of my parents.
You have to understand that my parents were in their early twenties when they had me in the early 1980s. Something that to this day I still can’t fathom because if that was the case for me, I would currently have a 15 year old and a 12 year old.
Literally mind boggling to think of that.
Growing up, I had a good childhood. They both worked really hard to ensure my brother and I didn’t realize that for a long time, we actually struggled a lot financially.
We had to turn to social support networks to ensure food was on the table at times, and that is not an easy thing to do now, let alone back then. Years later, I am so proud to be the man I am today because of the lessons my parents taught me. My father, before he passed away, ensured that I never took anything for granted. My amazing mom always helping to remind me to have a strong work ethic and a deep appreciation for those in my life who have helped me get to where I am today.
So while I will be enjoying a bowl of Kellogg’s cereal today to celebrate online for #NationalCerealDay, it’s important that I help Kellogg’s in sharing a conversation about weekend hunger. Here are some important facts that you should understand:
- A recent Kellogg’s® Better Days Weekend Hunger Survey reveals that nearly half (48 per cent) of low to middle income families in Canada are challenged to provide their children with at least one meal during the weekend.
- Food insecurity is a serious issue facing many Canadians and is linked with higher rates of chronic health conditions including depression, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and greater stress. When meals are skipped, parents notice negative responses and behaviours in their children, including:
24 per cent share that their children experience increased stress
36 per cent report decreased energy
27 per cent notice that their children are less focused
When you consider that nearly 30 per cent of these parents rely on breakfast and other food programs during the school year, it’s not surprising that weekends are especially difficult for struggling families. In fact, 69 per cent of parents surveyed agree that more support and increased access to school food programs, food banks and even weekend breakfast initiatives can all make a positive difference in filling the meal gap.
Kellogg Canada is helping to make a difference with a donation of $150,000 to Breakfast Club of Canada (BCC) this National Cereal Day.
The funds will help support breakfast programs in Canadian communities in need, including northern and indigenous communities, to improve access to food. This is in addition to the more than $3 million dollars and 30 million servings of cereal and snacks donated by Kellogg Canada to its national breakfast partners over the years. It’s all part of the Kellogg’s Better Days global philanthropic platform to create 3 billion Better Days for people around the world by 2030.
FOOD INSECURITY IS DEPRIVING CHILDREN OF THE WEEKEND THEY DESERVE. And that my friends is a message that should be shared by us all so that we all can work towards a solution.
“Parents should not have to decide between feeding their children or paying a household bill, but for many Canadian families that’s their reality. 52 per cent of families shared they worry about where their next meal will come from and often feel embarrassed, stressed, and worried about their family’s food security.”
Additionally, a lack of access to food is not only linked with higher rates of self-reported poor health and chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but also impacts children’s emotional and social experiences. Case in point, 36 per cent of parents surveyed said they avoid having their children’s friends over, and 57 per cent opt their children out of fun weekend activities such as sports and community events to be able to provide food for their family instead.
This National Cereal Day, Kellogg Canada and Breakfast Club of Canada are encouraging Canadians to join the conversation and help fight childhood hunger by sharing the Fight Childhood Hunger video infographic below and using the hashtag #BetterDays on social media.
It’s never too late to make a difference by using your voice too. So please, help me spread this important message today so that tomorrow can be a little better.
Photos: Daniel Reyes, Kellogg Canada & All Social Media accounts listed above
Don’t forget to be kind & laugh a little more this year