Wilson Meikuya and Jackson Ntirkana, two Maasai warriors from Kenya get set for the Freshii Run.

Charity, restaurant team up to feed young minds

It was a chilly Friday morning in midtown Toronto.

A score of young boys and girls just finished a short run. This run marked a partnership between the Free The Children charity, and restaurant chain Freshii.

The charity and restaurant recently announced a partnership to help feed students in developing countries by funding school kitchens and vegetable gardens.

The initiative will be known as the “green bowl” initiative. Freshii created a limited edition reusable green bowl that would be selling at $ 5 through their 40 outlets spread over eight countries.

To mark the formal launching of the initiative the two organizations arranged a run from Freshii’s Yonge Steet and Saint Clair Avenue location to its flagship location at Yonge and Bloor streets.

Marc Keilburger, co-founder of Free The Children, and Matthew Corrin, CEO of Freshii, took part in the run. Two Maasai Warriors from rural Kenya also braved the weather and participated.

“Every time our customers buy the green bowl the proceeds will go towards building school kitchens and vegetable gardens in all the schools and communities that Free The Children operates,” Corrin said.

Freshii needs to sell 15,000 bowls to build a garden and a kitchen that would produce approximately 100,000 nutritious lunches every year.

“We believe that if we sell the bowl to 10 per cent of our customers every week, that is viable. We can build 20 schools kitchens and gardens a year alone, so we are really excited about the partnership,” he added.

The project will begin in a community in Kenya. Then it will continue in seven other countries including  Nicaragua, Haiti, Ecuador, Sierra leon, Ghana, China and India.

“Hunger is a serious issue facing millions of children in the developing world,”Keilberger said. “But it’s also something that together, we can help change.”

He added that creating a kitchen and garden at a school means students can spend time learning.

“We hope all children around the world who are getting an education will have enough food when they go to school,” Keilberger said.