Toronto Star (January 5)

Summary: By the time breakfast was served, Firaaz Azeez was convinced. Azeez, a manager at the Muslim Welfare Centre, a local charity based in Scarborough, was on a tour of city schools to see the student nutrition program, run by the Toronto Foundation for Student Success, at work.

“I was amazed by what I saw,” said Azeez. He was tasked with deciding if his charity should increase funding to the local breakfast programs. “Beyond the food that is nourishing all these kids, there are student volunteers who prepare and cook the meals,” he said. The student nutrition program has been operating in schools across the Toronto District School Board since 1999. By next year, the program, run by the charitable arm of the TDSB, will feed kids breakfast, snack or lunch in almost a thousand schools across the city. This year, the Muslim Welfare Centre will fund the programs in 14 schools in the city’s least affluent neighbourhoods, including Malvern, Thorncliffe Park and Regent Park. Their donation of $30,000 will feed more than 4,500 students, according to Catherine Parsonage, executive director of the TFSS.

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