Filling hungry tummies to ensure brighter futures

Did you know that food insecurity is a growing epidemic affecting one out of six children in Canada? It’s true. Statistics show that over 4 million people, including 1.15 million children are affected by food insecurity. Experts say that the answer to the problem is not to simply give someone food, but to give them the ability to earn a higher income. Going to bed with an empty tummy leads to improper sleep, which makes being ready to learn the next day all the more difficult. If a higher income is only earned through education, and learning is impossible if a child’s basic needs are not met, how are we helping Canada’s future by neglecting its coming generations?

We at Feeding Canadian Kids nourish and nurture children by providing a healthy dinner. This is paramount to learning and creating brighter futures, thus, ending the cycle of poverty.


Unfortunately, Canada is currently the only G8 country without a national meal program in its schools. There are a handful of privately funded organizations that provide breakfasts and snacks for children in Canada, but none with a focus on dinner. Feeding Canadian Kids aims to fill the dinner gap with nutritious kid-friendly meals.

Feeding Canadian Kids will begin with a pilot, serving 10 after-school programs and then gathering stakeholder feedback and creating a national expansion strategy. Since over 1 million children in Canada go to bed with empty tummies, we will begin with the most vulnerable communities in each province’s capital and expand our reach as we scale our operations across the country.

    Feeding Canadian Kids is a federally incorporated non profit organization. We feed hungry Canadian kids dinner to fill their tummies so they sleep well, leading to success in school and healthy futures.
    Over 1 million Canadian children face food insecurity each day...this is shocking and unacceptable.
    With our passion fuelled and our strong network of partners, we believe that Canadians can work together to distribute food to those less fortunate.
    We recognize and applaud the many groups feeding undernourished children breakfast and lunch. Our goal is to complement this work by filling the dinner gap with a healthy, kid-friendly meal to ensure continued nourishment and a good night’s sleep, thereby increasing their ability to learn, participate and succeed.

Our Directors and Advisory Board Members

John Young, Co-Founder & Chairman

John Young is the Chief Executive Officer of Boat Rocker Media, a global entertainment company that creates, produces and distributes premium content for all platforms.

John is the Chair of the Board of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. John is the Chair of the Board of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and a member of the Boards of Caldwell Partners and SIR Corp. He has also served on the Boards of Golf Town, Sporting Life, Toys R Us and on the Advisory Board of ONEX Partners L.P.

John’s proven passion for helping at-risk youth fulfill their potential makes him an invaluable leader of Feeding Canadian Kids.

Jessica Roelink, Co-Founder & Executive Director

Jessica Roelink, Charity Founder and former Executive Director at Dress for Success Toronto & Dress Your Best charities, began her life journey of serving those less fortunate back in 2000. Jessica has received both the Volunteer of the Year Award from the City of Toronto and Flare magazine’s Canadian National Volunteer Award, however she insists that the very people she helps inspire her and that her volunteers drive her achievements. Jessica also received a nomination for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Award and a nomination for Toronto’s Top 40 Under 40.

As a teenager, Jessica went from volunteer of the month to Director of Operations at a local clothing bank, and by her early twenties was turning professional clothing into a charitable movement. In 2001, Jessica founded her own charity using her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for volunteering as tools to garner success for almost twenty years in the non-profit sector. Although Jessica originally studied Construction Engineering, she never entered into the construction industry as she was too busy building a great charity that today, continues to improve the lives of thousands of disadvantaged Canadians.

“I was alarmed when I learned that 1 in 6 Canadian children face food insecurity every day. I am thrilled to be starting this Canadian charity, and I am confident that our strong network of donors and volunteers will empower us to address this pressing issue.”

Steven Pelton, President and Chief Executive Officer and Director, Second Cup Coffee Co.

As of June 5, 2019, Steven Pelton is Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Franchisor.  Prior to being appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, Steven was one of the co-founders and Chief Executive Officer of the Landing Group, a Southern Ontario based upscale casual restaurant concept, operating Williams Landing, Hunters Landing and Harpers Landing. In December 18, 2014, Mr. Pelton sold the Restaurant entity to Recipe Unlimited, formerly known as Cara Operation Limited. Steven joined Recipe Limited and continued to oversee the Landing Restaurants and additional brands, Milestones and Bier Markt until May of 2019.

Steven is vastly experienced in the food services business and large company environments and with this, he paired Feeding Canadian Kids with its founding restaurant partners, the Landing Restaurants who continue to provide healthy dinners to children throughout the GTA. This, in combination with being a father and knowing the pressures of providing for a family, has Steven’s head and heart well aligned with the mission of Feeding Canadian Kids.

Julia Miller-Black, Director of Fundraising. LesLois Shaw Foundation

Julia Miller Black is actively involved in building stronger communities in Toronto and internationally through her leadership at LesLois Shaw Foundation, a private foundation, based in Toronto, focused on education and gender equality.Previous roles focused on advancing women & girls rights with the private sector and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Association for Women’s Rights in Development; and, internationally, managing and funding grassroots women’s groups in 20 countries at the Huairou Commission.

As a Board member of Feeding Canadian Kids, a Policy and Stakeholder Committee Member for Covenant House, a Steering committee member of the Youth Funders Network and a previous Teen Healthy Relationship committee member of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Julia is passionate about supporting child development and overall wellbeing; combatting food insecurity is the first step toward achieving this.  

Dan Park, CEO, Clutch

Dan is CEO of Clutch, an online auto retailer transforming the way consumers buy cars. Clutch has emerged as a trusted brand and an exciting alternative to buying a car either from a traditional dealership or privately from an individual.

Prior to joining Clutch, Dan was General Manager and Head of Uber Eats Canada. During his time at Uber, Dan led the extraordinary growth of Uber’s food delivery platform, UberEats, in Canada, which now services hundreds of thousands of customers    in over 50 cities across the country.

While leading the team at UberEats, Dan partnered with Feeding Canadian Kids. As an integral part of our model, UberEats as our delivery partners, complete the process by ensuring delivery of meals to hungry kids throughout the GTA. Dan is also a loving husband and father of one, his passion as a dad also adds to his determination to successfully help Feeding Canadian Kids fill empty tummies to ensure brighter futures across Canada.

Rebecca Waterhouse, Director of Operations, Feeding Canadian Kids

Rebecca has been analyzing a wealth of data on social entrepreneurship and successful community development strategies in the Canadian context for the past seven years. This focus has allowed Rebecca to work both at the front-line and as a consultant for a diversity of non-profit and charitable organizations. Rebecca excels at supporting charities in identifying their systems needs and transforming challenges into strategic opportunities. While ensuring each Feeding Canadian Kids delivery occurs as scheduled Rebecca also works to course an organizational path for national expansion.

Rebecca holds a Masters, Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership from Carleton University (Ottawa, ON), a Business Degree from St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, NS) and is currently pursuing her Sustainable Investment Professional Certification (Concordia, QC).

“The fact that it’s 2020 and Canadian kids continue to go to bed hungry is simply unacceptable. We have the resources, infrastructure and responsibility to solve this distribution problem and its time we do so with the Feeding Canadian Kids model.”

Rebecca Waterhouse, Senior Operations Manager, Uber Eats

Joe oversees marketplace operations at Uber Eats, which serves millions of customers in over a hundred cities across Canada. Joe is passionate about the mission of Feeding Canadian Kids as he recognizes the serious threat food insecurity poses to a child’s development and growth.

Previously, Joe co-founded two start-ups focused on solving problems for the everyday consumer through innovative technology. Joe also worked in the Country Coverage Group at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup in Seoul, covering M&A and equity-side transactions of multinational conglomerates. Joe received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Stephen M. Ross School of Business at University of Michigan graduating with high distinction.


Rudyard Griffiths, Television Broadcaster, Bloomberg TV

Rudyard Griffiths is a senior fellow at Munk School at the University of Toronto and a philanthropic advisor to family led foundations in Canada.

He is past president of the Peter and Melanie Munk Foundation and currently serves as a philanthropic advisor to Galen Weston Snr and the Weston Family Foundation. Rudyard also is the co-founder and Chair of the semi-annual Munk Debates. For over a decade he was the founder and executive director of the history and civics charity the Dominion Institute which merged with the Historica Foundation in 2009 to create Historica Canada.

Rudyard is the author of the 2009 Globe and Mail Book of Year,
Who We Are: A Citizens Manifesto and has edited two dozen publications on international relations, public policy, history and politics.

He has been a columnist at the National Post and the Toronto Star and a TV anchor for Bloomberg TV Canada and CTV News Channel and a business news commentator for CBC News Network.

He holds a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University where he was also a doctoral candidate.

Rudyard is also a busy father of two children and as a hand’s on Dad he knows the dedication it takes to shop and prepare highly nutritious meals for his kids. Rudayard welcomes being an Advisor to Feeding Canadian Kids.

Marilyn Emery, President & Chief Executive Officer, Women’s College Hospital

For more than two decades, Marilyn Emery has produced outstanding results for some of Ontario’s leading health-care organizations. Since 2007, Marilyn has been guiding Women’s College Hospital through some of the most innovative and exciting changes in its 100-year history: its evolution into Canada’s pre- eminent academic ambulatory hospital dedicated to women’s health. That means delivering a revolutionary model of care designed to keep people out of hospital. This bold vision includes not only creating a new state-of-the-art hospital through a $425-million redevelopment project, but also recreating the hospital’s public identity through a pioneering re-branding campaign. Her career-long record of leadership and innovation in health-care organizations has garnered national recognition. Marilyn has twice been honoured as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 – in the inaugural year of the award in 2003, and again in 2010.

As CEO of the Central East Local Health Integration Network, Marilyn led the planning, coordination and integration of health-care services reaching 1.4 million people. At St. Joseph’s Health Centre, she not only transformed the hospital’s financial and business performance, but also transformed the patient experience, attaining the greatest improvement in patient satisfaction ever achieved by an Ontario hospital. As president and CEO of Markham Stouffville Hospital, Marilyn oversaw the construction of a new 220-bed community hospital – on time and under budget.

Marilyn’s leadership, courage and pioneering spirit have made her a popular and inspirational guest speaker and lecturer. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing Education from University of Western Ontario.

Jeremy Walker, Managing Director and Head of TD Securities’ Communications, Media & Technology Group

Jeremy holds a BA Honours in Economics and an MBA from Queen’s University. Jeremy is on the Board of Governors at Havergal College and is responsible for the overall stewardship, including establishing the school’s direction and priorities and overseeing its financial and administrative functions.

Jeremy’s professional experience is a valuable asset to Feeding Canadian Kids and as a father of three daughters, he is passionate about feeding children in need.

Dayna Stein, Food Security and Sustainable Food Systems Consultant

Dayna Stein is a food systems and sustainability planning consultant who has worked extensively with municipalities, universities, public schools, for profits, non-profits and a First Nation community to do food system planning, impact evaluation research, market research, strategic planning, workshop facilitation, and social enterprise development.
Dayna is a perpetual student and lifelong learner. She focused her academic career on sustainable and socially just food systems and their impact on nutrition, health and community development. She graduated with a Master’s of Science in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability in Sweden.

Dayna was awarded a Lion’s Club Scholarship for her Thesis on cross-sector collaboration around food waste mitigation. Dayna also holds a Bachelor of Science in Global Resource Systems from UBC and is currently pursuing a certificate from the University of Toronto in Entrepreneurship. In 2015, Dayna partook in a 10-month practicum in agro-ecological farming with The Richmond Farm School. In that same year she became Partner of a social enterprise that diverts wood waste from landfills through up-cycling, while engaging in community outreach on sustainability issues. Based on her active role in its’ creation, Dayna was selected for a RADIUS Fellowship in Radical Doing.

Dayna is an expert in food security, an advocate, and a zero-waste enthusiast. In her spare time, she sits on the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council as co-chair of the networking committee, and before that, the education committee. She also sits on the Board of Directors for Karma Co-op.

Theresa Buset, CHRL VP, Human Resources, DDB Group Canada

Over the last 14 years, Theresa Buset has been providing insight, leadership and best practices in Human Resources services to some of the premier advertising agencies in Canada. With a Bachelor of Administration and Commercial Studies, concentrating in Human Resources and Psychology from Western University and in addition to obtaining her CHRL, this prepared her to partner with the strong creative personalities leading the agencies in this fast-moving field.

As a mother to two school-age children, she understands the struggles some of their classmates can encounter daily, and has resolved to help be part of the solution. Inspired by the mission and goals of Feeding Canadian Kids,
Theresa believes that every child deserves an equal chance at educational experiences, and that includes being able to concentrate on their work, not their empty stomach. “Some of the most complex problems can have a simple solution if we work together to find and rectify them.”

Gina Faturos, Secretary & Treasurer

Gina Faturos is a Case Worker with the Ontario Disability Support Program. As she works directly with persons in need and is a busy working mother, Gina’s specialty with Feeding Canadian Kids will be ensuring we keep the needs of the children, their families and communities our top priority. Having received a BA in Psychology from York University, Gina built a successful career in Marketing and Communications working for various companies including Coffee Time, TELUS and Altis Human Resources. Gina’s dynamic career path and her passion for helping others lead her to the Ministry of Community and Social Services, supporting the most vulnerable Ontarians.

Gina has also served as a volunteer Board Member of the Playhouse Childcare Centre and has witnessed first-hand the need to combat child hunger. As a founding Board member of the Live to Give Relief Organization, Gina has always made time to volunteer as a Director in the areas of Fundraising and with her strong organizational skills she will be our Board’s Secretary and Treasurer. Gina realized when she became a mother that being a good role model was crucial to her children’s development and to better serve underprivileged Canadians.

“I want my children to understand that helping people is a privilege and everyone can make the time to volunteer. Even the smallest act of kindness can go a long way.”

Nancy Madonik Marketing and Communications Director, Feeding Canadian Kids

Nancy built her expertise at both boutique shops as well as large, integrated agencies; most recently she was the Managing Director at OgilvyAction/Geometry Global Toronto. She has worked on the development of “Big Idea” campaigns borne out of consumer insights and strategic thinking.

She has personally led the creation and execution of integrated programs for many top-tier brands such as Unilever Canada, Treasury Wine Estates, Coca-Cola Canada, SC Johnson Canada, Tim Hortons & American Express Canada.

She is passionate about giving back and currently sits on the board of the Toronto Fringe Festival which is a registered charity in the province of Ontario.

Words From Our Team

  • “I was alarmed when I learned that 1 in 6 Canadian children face food insecurity every day. I am thrilled to be starting this Canadian charity, and I am confident that our strong network of donors and volunteers will empower us to address this pressing issue.”

    Jessica RoelinkExecutive Director

  • “I want my children to understand that helping people is a privilege and everyone can make the time to volunteer. Even the smallest act of kindness can go a long way.”

    Gina FaturosSecretary & Treasurer