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Yes. Soup for You: Manitoba charity kicks off annual Stone Soup Week fundraiser

The Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba (CNCM) has kicked off its annual Stone Soup Week fundraiser. But don’t worry. There won’t be rocks in your lunch.

Aligning with the old stone soup folktale, a story about a community chipping in to feed a tired and hungry traveller, Stone Soup Week seeks to rally residents and businesses around the province in support of the council’s goals.

As a part of the fundraiser, 39 restaurants have agreed to make a signature soup and donate a dollar from each bowl served towards snack and meal programs in Manitoba schools.

“Currently, with over 400 schools on our list and the counts that the schools give us, it comes to 50,000 children and youth who are accessing various programs,” said Viola Prose, CNCM board director.

She said the total is a large increase from 2001, when there were about 10 schools on the list.

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Erin Harris, a teacher at École Salisbury Morse Place School in Winnipeg, said her school alone has had an increase in the number of kids coming to school hungry.

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“Twenty-five years ago, I started a breakfast program in my classroom for one student who was hungry and was having a tough time at school,” she said. “That program started with me just bringing a box of cereal and a jug of milk, and storing it in the fridge in the school, and they would come every day before school and have cereal.

“It really changed their day,” Harris said. Now, “we currently serve between 110 and 140 students each day.”

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Harris said the benefits of school meal and snack programs are not unnoticed.

“We’re seeing things like increased attendance,” she said. “Things like an increased ability to do the work that’s in front of them in the classroom, (better) relationships with the adults in the building because they see us as a safe place where they can grab something to eat, (and) relationships with their peers.”

Prowse said while it may seem small, one dollar can go a long way.

CNCM said it costs about $1.60 to provide a snack for an elementary school student, and about $2.67 for a high school student.

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“One dollar… makes a difference in the life of one student for one day. When you add it all up, it’s much appreciated,” Prowse said.

The charity’s annual report for 2022-2023 says about 17 per cent of its funding comes from grants and fundraising. The other 83 per cent come from the Manitoba government.

It hopes to raise over $25,000 in this year’s campaign, which runs March 11-17.

A list participating restaurants can be found at

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