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, Chairman

John Young is the Chief Executive Officer of Boat Rocker Media, a global entertainment company that creates, produces and distributes premium content and brands for all platforms; producing shows such as Orphan Black, The Next Step, Being Erica, Killjoys, Say Yes to the Dress Canada, MasterChef Canada, X Company, The Amazing Race Canada and Big Brother Canada.

Mr. Young previously served in various roles for the Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement System pension fund (OMERS), including Managing Director of OMERS Private Equity.

Mr. Young serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. He also sits on the Advisory Committee of Recipe Unlimited as well as the Board of Directors of Golf Town and Toys R Us Canada. He has previously served on the Board of Sir Corp, the Advisory Board of ONEX Partners L.P., and on the Executive Committee of Covenant House.

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

Jessica Roelink, 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.”

Dan Park General Manager and Head of UberEats Canada

Over the past 2 years, Dan has led the extraordinary growth of Uber’s food delivery platform in Canada, which now services hundreds of thousands of customers in over 50 cities across the country.

Previously, Dan was a Principal at Azure Capital Partners and led the firm’s Canadian investment efforts. Dan also worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York focusing on technology, media & telecommunications and at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. Dan received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University graduating with first class honours.

Dan not only brings to the table a very impressive professional background, but also his diversely skilled team at UberEats. Uber Eats has so far committed to delivering over 2000 meals daily to children across Ontario. 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.

Steven Pelton Sr. VP Recipe Unlimited and CEO, The Landing Restaurant Group

Steven entered the workforce at the age of 14 as a dishwasher. Over the years he continued to work in restaurants, working his way through college while studying finance. Over the following 10 plus years Steven was able to gain valuable experience working for both large companies and many small independents. In 2008 Steven and his partners bought their first restaurant in Toronto. Steve was to be the operating partner as the others had no restaurant experience. In 2009 they opened their second restaurant on King Street West, and in 2010 they opened a third restaurant which turned into the beginning of a chain of restaurants that attracted the attention of Canada’s largest full-service restaurant company, Recipe Unlimited, and before the end of the year had completed a deal to sell 55% to Recipe Unlimited. Shortly thereafter purchased the remainder of The Landing Restaurant Group with Steven taking a position directly within Recipe Unlimited. Now Steven is the Senior Vice President of Premium Dinning and CEO of the The Landing Restaurant Group. He is responsible for growing the Landing Brand – which will be 9 restaurants by July 2017. He also now runs the Milestones Brand nationally (which has 54 restaurants). Combined, he is responsible for over $200 million in annual restaurant sales.

Steven brings his experience and expertise in the restaurant industry to our organization at the much-needed planning stage of our organization. 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.

Rebecca Waterhouse, Director of Operations, Feeding Canadian Kids

Rebecca Waterhouse has been analyzing a wealth of data on social entrepreneurship and community wealth strategies in the Canadian context for the past five years. This focus has allowed Rebecca to consult with a handful of nonprofit organizations in the identification of potential earned-income opportunities and translating those ideas into impact aligned, business cases for success. Rebecca has meaningful experience in conducting original and synthesized research, survey design and semi-structured interviews and managing all the associated team logistics. Working closely with advisors, Rebecca prioritizes the creation of a smart work plan that will ensure a measurable impact in the community. Rebecca has recently completed her Master’s Capstone entitled, “Utilizing the SDGs to Develop a Common Impact Framework for Social Enterprise and Social Value Purchasing: A Feasibility Assessment”.

Rebecca mainly finds her energy in all things food related, specifically supporting sustainable and ethical production and equal access to healthy food options for all Canadians. Rebecca believes this passion and experience aligns naturally with the Feeding Canadian Kids mission. Rebecca holds a degree in Business Administration and International Development Studies from St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, NS), a certificate in Skills for Social Change from the Coady International Institute (Antigonish, NS) has just completed her Masters, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University (Ottawa, ON) and will be leading social enterprise development at the Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre (Toronto, ON).

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.

Todd Minerson, Director of Communications and Brand at Unicef Canada

Todd Minerson has spent the past 14 years working in gender justice, HIV/AIDS prevention, anti-poverty work, housing and homelessness, and with at-risk youth. In all of these experiences he has seen the complex and negative effects of violence and harmful masculinities on the lives of too many people.Todd has presented and delivered workshops on engaging men in ending violence against women for the UN, as well as working with governments and agencies in Brazil, Austria, Turkey, Cape Verde, and Sri Lanka.

As Executive Director of the White Ribbon Campaign, he was also one of the co-chairs of the Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality in Rio de Janeiro in March 2009. His life’s commitment to social justice was instilled while studying at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where he obtained an Honours history degree with a concentration in gender studies and social change movements.

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