Winnipeg Harvest provides food for more than 64,000 Manitobans each month, and nearly 41 per cent are children. Despite the generous food donations by individuals and businesses in Manitoba, there is never enough baby/infant formula to meet the demand. As a result, Winnipeg Harvest has an annual cash operating cost of $200,000 designated strictly for the purchase of infant formula. This cost is covered 100 per cent by First Steps.
First Steps is a program of Winnipeg Harvest dedicated to ending child hunger in Manitoba. In 2007, Winnipeg Harvest began this province-wide fundraising initiative to provide hungry Manitoba babies with nutritious infant formula and baby food.
Since 2007, First Steps has raised over $1.5 million for hungry babies in Winnipeg and Manitoba.
Together, let’s be the first city and province in Canada to stand up and say ‘We will not let one child go to bed hungry!’
Donate now to First Steps here.
Learn more about child hunger and poverty in Manitoba here.
The Importance of Family Nutrition
Many studies suggest that the years from conception to age six are the most influential in the life cycle, affecting brain development, school readiness and health in later life.
Children living in poverty are at risk because:
- Babies born to low-income parents are twice as likely to be born with a low birth rate—which is the leading cause of infant death and illness in infancy and childhood.
- 60-90% of children from low-income families suffer from early childhood tooth decay compared to 5-10% of children generally in North America. Tooth decay is painful and results in trouble sleeping, eating and learning.
First Steps is working toward ending hunger for infants and children through the following goals:
- Covering the annual operating expense of feeding babies and young children through Winnipeg Harvest.
- Expanding programs where needed to include nutritional programs for families, daycares and schools. Hunger is more than having an empty stomach, hunger means not getting daily nutrition to lead a fully active, productive and healthy life.
- Providing awareness of the unacceptable situation with babies, infants and young children going hungry in our city and province.
- Creating an endowment fund with additional funds so we can stand up and say, “No baby, infant, or child will ever go to bed hungry in Winnipeg and Manitoba!”
- Raising a minimum of $200,000 each year to cover Winnipeg Harvest’s annual cash operating cost of $200,000 for the purchase of baby food and formula. With the additional funds, create an endowment fund to address this need well into the future.
- Promoting proper nutrition as critical to leading active, productive and healthy lives; expand programs that provide nutritional education to families, daycares and schools.
- Heightening awareness of the problem and generate support from individuals and businesses in Manitoba.