Chicken Noodle Day Program

The Cause

A recent report published by the University of Toronto disclosed that researchers found that close to six million Canadians experienced some form of food insecurity in 2021. The same report published that at 20%, Albertans had the country's highest food insecurity rate. It is estimated that from kindergarten to grade 12, upwards of 20,000 kids in Calgary go hungry daily. While as alarming and heartbreaking as these statistics are, we have an opportunity to act now.

Chicken Noodle Day is a unique approach to easing food insecurities for school-aged children in low-income areas while educating young leaders on the importance of volunteerism to spark a passion for creating catalysts for social change in their communities.

Chicken Noodle Day runs at no cost to the participating school and alternates between the participating schools as suggested through consultations with the Calgary Board of Education. This program is offered in 2-parts: soup making and sharing. The first provides a philanthropic, team building soup-making event for young people in grades 5-9 attending one of our partner schools in the program. During this soup-making 'field trip' and under the guidance of student chefs and Soup Sisters volunteers from our partner culinary locations, a classroom of soup makers chop, dice & proudly prepare hundreds of litres of Chicken Noodle soup (vegetarian soup will be provided as an alternate) to feed their entire student body! The following day, the same soup is served to the student body, warmed, and ladled by students, parents, and Soup Sister volunteers as part of a hot lunch to the entire student body alongside healthy snacks to round out a well-balanced lunch following Canada's Food Guide.

Soup Sisters is committed to working with our community to build thriving communities. The Chicken Noodle Day program allows youth to learn about the importance of giving back to the community while gaining their confidence in the kitchen. The opportunity to cook for others provides a feeling of pride and accomplishment, forming a sense of community between students, teachers, and the entire school.

Who Will it Benefit?

Our target demographic benefiting from this initiative is school-aged students in Calgary. This program will benefit the listed sub-groups in the following ways:

- Through consultation with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), Soup Sisters learnt that students in grades 5 to 9 receive fewer engagement opportunities through their schools' programming. Therefore, it was decided that students in grades 5-9 will have the opportunity to participate in the first part of this two-part program by following the instruction of student chefs and Soup Sisters volunteers in preparing chicken noodle soup for their entire school. This opportunity allows participants to engage in volunteerism and philanthropy. At the same time, it raises awareness of their peers' issues and encourages understanding.

- To help remedy food insecurity, our program ensures that all students at the participating schools in low-income areas will enjoy a hot lunch featuring the warm and nutritious soup prepared by and served by their classmates.

- The culinary student chefs at partner technical high schools, such as Lord Shaughnessy and Jack James, will be able to strengthen their leadership skills while providing mentorship for the youth participants.

- Soup Sister volunteers, teachers, school administration, and parents will be able to volunteer alongside students to strengthen the sense of community within participating schools.

- Lastly, schools will benefit from directly influencing students’ physical and emotional health by providing them with a nutritious lunch and an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the physical well-being of their peers.