By Bhairavi Kumar, Tastebuds’ Community Development Worker
Tastebuds, Hamilton’s Student Nutrition Collaborative, partnered with Hamilton Tiger Cats last Tuesday (Feb. 25) at Hess Street School to launch their 5th BeFit program.
When a call was sent out to choose a school for the launch, Hess was the first in and a great choice. The school has a diverse ethnic and cultural population, with students from over thirty countries, speaking over thirty-five different languages. Some of the students come directly from refugee camps and have no formal education.
One of the posters in the gym had a quote: “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” (William Arthur Ward) When I asked a student what it meant she said, “Hope and Dream” with sparks in her eyes. With the memory of Olympics still fresh in her mind, she said, “Anyone can go to Olympics; you just have to work hard.” That is pretty good for a grade 7 student!
We at Tastebuds, work hard to make sure kids can keep dreaming without worrying about their breakfast, snack and lunch. Hess School has an amazing nutrition program which is run by a group of students supervised by a staff five days a week. Every child at the school gets a fresh fruit, yogurt and a whole grain product to start their day.
In preparation of the launch, the kids had prepared posters that decorated the walls of the gym to welcome the players. You could feel the excitement. They were looking forward to meeting the players without knowing who they really were. “What’s the point of the meeting them then”, my 9 year old asked. Well, sports are so much more than celebrity and autograph. Not everyone will be a professional athlete, it’s the life lessons that you learn by playing sports – perseverance, determination, resilience and team work.
Our partnership with the Tiger Cat’s BeFit program helps us in our mission to “sprout healthy relationships with food” and adds an exercise component. The players will visit approximately 40 schools before their training starts in May. Their donation of $7,500 will be shared with all the schools that host them.