No child should have to go hungry. That's why The Salvation Army in Shawinigan, Que., has developed Healthy Families, a breakfast program for children aged five to 12 which launched in February. Held on two Saturdays each month, the program offers delicious food and an environment for learning and fun activities.

“The Salvation Army exists in the community to fill a need,” says Captain Melisa Tardif, corps officer, New Hope Community Church. “A weekend breakfast will ensure that every child has something to put in their stomach and has the chance to spend quality time with other children.

“Healthy Families is one of very few free activities for children on weekends,” continues Captain Tardif. “On weekdays, there are programs available to ensure kids are eating breakfast but there is nothing in place for the weekend. This program does this and also allows a little free time for the parents.”

The goal of the initiative is to provide a safe and warm environment for children to go on weekends and eat a nutritious and balanced meal. Children will learn how to cook healthy meals, discover the value of fruits and vegetables with a dietician and enjoy sports and other activities.

“If it wasn't for Salvation Army programs like Healthy Families I might go hungry,” says 12-year-old Marie. “Sometimes we have nothing in our refrigerator.”

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