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In the midst of everything, The Breakfast Pig is feeding the kids

Angela Caputo, owner of The Breakfast Pig in Sault Ste. Marie, wants to make sure every kid in town gets lunch. It seems like a simple thing: the guarantee of at least one meal a day.

Unfortunately, for many people in Ontario, it's not. 

It started with a conversation with her sister-in-law. Her sister-in-law is a teacher and is acutely aware of just how many kids in town rely on the Breakfast Program connected to the school she works with. With schools closed and resources limited, the program has been put on hold.

"I wanted to do what I can to help" says Angela. "Many of these kids might not eat that day without the program."

She started by making bagged lunches for 100 kids out of her own pocket. She included a piece of fruit, some vegetables, a sandwich and an Easter treat. She took the lunches door to door in one of the geared-to-income housing complexes in The Soo.

She knocked on every door, introduce herself, asked if there are children living there and if they'd like lunch. A simple, kind gesture is a very stressful time.

"The look of relief on some of the parents faces was everything. It breaks my heart to think about a kid going all day without food, or a parent watching it happen with no options."

She posted a photo on her social media when she was done - and the community showed up. Within a week, she'd received over $7000 in donations to help make her gestures a weekly occurrence.

"I wanted to take what I have and give it to these kids. They didn't ask to be put into this situation."

The local dairy, Lock City Dairy, got in touch and donated a 250ml box of milk for each child. People started sending e-transfers and leaving extra with their meals to support the program.

In week two, she made 200 lunches.

 

She's since teamed up with The John Howard Society, who says food insecurity is a common concern for many people in the community.

"I think that right now in the state that we're in, if you have a social following, you should be using your platform to do good things because there are a lot of people who can't sustain themselves, let alone their business, through all this."

Angela hopes to run the program for the duration of the social distancing directive. Her business is running at an 80% loss in revenue, but she's hoping the government will step up to support for employee wages. When asked if this is going to stop her giving away so much, she simply said: "No."

"If I can help one kid realize there's someone out there who cares about them, I've done good."


One of Angela's bagged lunches - which includes fruit, hot soup, a sandwich, a milk and a treat - costs approximately $5.00.

If you'd like to donate, e-transfer breakfastpig@gmail.com and put "feed the kids" in the notes.