I am consistently proud of my students and the cohort of students in Eastern Ontario. Every once in awhile, however, I am humbled by the amazing feat a student can accomplish. This is Heba, she is a proud member of the Grocery Foundation, Agents of Change Program.
Heba, who attends in highschool in Cornwall hosted an Eat and Tweet event in early February. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Heba and find out about her future plans.
Heba, can you tell me what inspired you to create this fundraising event?
There are so many things that inspired me to create this fundraising event. Student nutrition has been an issue I have been very passionate about throughout my childhood and high school experience. This is something that is extremely important for not only the wellbeing of students but also their physical health. There are kids that do not understand the importance of eating right and so I wanted to promote healthy eating and explain to everyone why it is so essential. To me, student nutrition is one of the most important factors in being successful. I wanted to make it an interactive event so the students would engage more as well.
What are you hoping the positive impact of your actions will be?
I am hoping that not only students but teachers are more aware of the importance of eating right and regularly. There are already schools that have nutrition programs but not all have it so I want more and more school to have this implemented so youth all over can access the proper foods they need. I am also hoping that with more awareness for ‘Toonies 4 Tummies’ there will be more people donating to local grocery stores because they know what the campaign is about.
What advice would you give others that want to make a difference? What was the hardest part of this process?
The best advice I could give is to get involved with your local high school’s nutrition program and get to know what it is all about. Stay true to your passion because wanting to make a difference involves taking action so take initiative and follow your goals. The hardest part of this process was definitely balancing this with school, work, and other extracurricular activities. Managing time is so important and this is something that was hard for me at first but I am now confident in this skill.
What is your next adventure? What is next in your future schooling/summer adventures or next fundraising project?
I am going off to university this September studying biopharmaceutical sciences at uOttawa. My passion is connecting and helping people so after my undergrad, my goal is to either apply to medical school or a pharmacist program. During my studies in university, I am planning on still engaging with youth and talking about student nutrition. There may be already a program out there but I really want to start up a club that would be all about fundraising so there could be more nutrition programs implemented in schools all over the world or just some financial aid in funding these programs. With all the combined efforts, hopefully, all this will soon become not just a dream, but reality.
The Toonies for Tummies campaign is made possible through a number of industry partners, including participating retailers and sponsor companies, and shoppers, who make it a priority to donate to local programs at the store and online. Sponsor companies cover the cost of the campaign so that 100% of funds raised go back to children. Agents of Change, like Heba, have been holding events all over Ontario and Western Canada. You can donate and make a change in the lives of hungry students in your community. Look for the #toonies4tummies hashtag to follow along with all of the Toonies for Tummies events and results of the 2017 campaign. You can always donate here at any time.
ABOUT THE GROCERY FOUNDATION & TOONIES FOR TUMMIES
The Grocery Foundation is an Ontario-based not-for-profit, representing leaders from Canada’s grocery industry. It was established in 1979 to enrich the lives and wellbeing of children; providing them a hand up so that they can learn and succeed. To date, The Grocery Foundation has raised in excess of $85 million which has gone toward over 250 organizations across the province meeting a number of health and wellness needs including providing nutritious breakfasts and snacks for school-aged students across the province. Since 2000, Toonies for Tummies has raised nearly $15,000,000. In addition The Grocery Foundation makes capital and one-time donations to programs that support their immediate needs and long-term success.
The 2017 Toonies for Tummies campaign builds on a focus of The Foundation to continue to elevate discussion and the profile of student nutrition and the positive impacts. Recent efforts have focused on engaging youth in the topic and the Toonies for Tummies campaign.
It was a pleasure getting to know Heba and her future plans, I am sure we will be hearing more about her fantastic initiatives as an Agent of Change in 2018!