Nourishing Potential

Why is healthy eating so important to Jonathan Toews? He’s seen it change his game and his life. Now, he wants to make sure Winnipeg kids have the nutritional knowledge and good food they need to shine!

Nourishing Potential makes grants to local organizations that provide healthy food and hands-on nutrition education to children and youth in Winnipeg. We want the Nourishing Potential Fund to reach a targeted $5 million to generate approximately $250,000 every year for granting.

Join Jonathan in supporting Nourishing Potential. Your gift to the Nourishing Potential Fund helps ensure kids get fresh fruits and veggies, as well as a generous serving of experience in food preparation, meal planning and budgeting, teamwork and the power of coming together to share a meal.

Join Jonathan in Nourishing Potential

Thank you to the following donors for joining Jonathan Toews!

If you notice an error or omission, please accept our apology and let us know so we can update our records.

Donors from June 26 - September 7, 2015

155 Mobile Gifts (via text message)
Anonymous Donor (14)
23 Below Graphic Design Services
Jennifer Aarhus
David Angus
The Asper Family
Brenda Auge and Butch Bisaro
Bryan Auge
Cathy Auld and Ted McLachlan
Lindsay Auld
Brent Bailey
Bob Bayes
D. Joan Blight
Marie Bouchard
Daniel Boucher
Brian and Tracy Bowman
Diane Boyle
Robert Brennan
Edith and Douglas Brewer Charitable Gift Fund
Diane and Peter Burdz
Ace Burpee
Canadian Bridge Federation Charitable Foundation
Stacy Cardigan Smith and Casey Norman
Kathryne L. Cardwell and Charles W. McDougall
Kevin Chief
Elizabeth Chipliski
Chris Chipman
Chipman Family Foundation Fund
David Christianson
City of Winnipeg
Catherine Collins
Bob Cox
Charlene Craig
Ken Dalton
Geraldine De Braune
John Delaney
Carly Demchuk
Tom Dercola
Jeanie Dubberley
Dennis Duncan
Russ Duthoit
Bill and Helen Eamer
Albert El Tassi
Noah Erenberg and Cheryl Cohan
Robert R. Fabbri
Garry Finney
Harry and Elvira Finnigan
Rene Fontaine
Kelly Forzley
Sean Forzley
Thomas Frohlinger
Richard and Nancy Frost
Larry Frostiak
Geoff Garland
Dave and Barb Gemmell
Morris Glimcher
Alan Goddard
Gary Goodbrandson
Normand Gousseau
Deborah Gray
Tiffany Gray
Marilyn and Harv Grayston
Greystone Managed Investments
Susan and Ross Hagemeister
Ann Halbesma
Andy Hamilton
Susan Hamilton
Ken and Debbie Harasym
Thomas Hardern
Janet Harris
Ken and Ruth Hayes
Jim and Doris Hearne
Simon Hiebert
Arlene Hintsa
Thomas Hodgson
John Hollinger
Ana Hrynyk
Marjorie Hughes
Arsenio and Antonina Huypungco
Investors Group
Adele Kavanagh
Karen Kazina
Dean Keating
Cliff Ketchen
David Kraemer
James Kraemer
Brian Labaty
Dolores Laurendeau
Sean Lawton
Caudette Leclerc and Robert Kennedy
Xiaofei Li
Pat Lilley
Chelsea K. J. Livingstone
Joy and John Loewen
Shaun Loney
Richard Lussier and Stephanie Casey
Dianne Maendel
Nancy Mak
Michael Malabre
David Markham
Roxana Mazur
Larry McIntosh
Diane McIntyre
Jan McLellan
Doug Menzies
Barry Minish
Chris Mitchell
Judy Moon
Vera Moroz
Geoff Nanton
Dan Nord
Bonnie and Richard Olfert CA
Jennifer Partridge
Andrew Paterson
Peak of the Market
Blair Riordan
Charlene and Alva Rocke
Kevin Rollason and Gail Macaulay
Kerry Ryan
Paul Schick
Anita Schreiner
Kevin Schulz
Ilan Schwartz
Susan J. Scott Fund
Greg Selinger and Claudette Toupin
Bonnie Siemens
Gord Siemens
Doreen Sigurdson
Stephane Simard
Stacy Cardigan Smith and Casey Norman
Riley Snell
Terry Snell
Bob Somers
Wilma Sotas
Alana Squire
Paul Stepnuk
Karen Strobel
Megan Tate
Paul Taylor
TELUS Corporation
Jim Thompson
Jonathan Toews
Hien Tran
Stan Warsza
Nathan and Jenette Westervelt
Deborah Whyte
Shaune Whyte
Bill Willms
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation
Joe Wiwchar
Rick Wolfson
The Women's Fund
Paul Wright

Mobile Giving - Text GOAL to 45678

A one-time donation of $5 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. All donations must be authorized by the account holder. Standard messaging rates and additional fees may apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of the Nourishing Potential Fund at The Winnipeg Foundation by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at

Thank you! (May 2011 - Jun 25, 2015)

Thank you to everyone who made a gift to the Nourishing Potential Fund from May 2011 to June 25, 2015. You are Nourishing the Potential of Winnipeg kids!

Donor list as of June 25, 2015. If you notice an error or omission, please accept our apology and let us know so we can update our records.

33 Anonymous Donors
Jennifer Aarhus
Christopher Adams
All Charities Campaign
Noreen and Robert Allen Charitable Trust
Walter Allum
Elizabeth Amow
Arkadash Bistro and Lounge
Carole Ash
The Asper Family
Assiniboine Credit Union
Association of Fundraising Professionals - Manitoba Chapter
Brenda Auge and Butch Bisaro
Jim and Sharon August
Cathy Auld and Ted McLachlan
Fraser Auld
Hedley Auld
Lindsay Auld
W. Murray and Isabel Auld
Michael Averbach
Brent Bailey
Robert and Elaine Baril
Roger and Lori Baril
Vince Barletta
David and Gursh Barnard
Mindy S. Barsky-Veitch
Jane Barter Moulasion
Bob Bayes
Greg Beaton
Kristine Betker
Beutel Goodman and Company Ltd.
Sangita Bhalla
Lynda and Art Blackburde
Joan Blight
Ross Bonner
Jason Booth and Veronica Wojtuszewska
Marie Bouchard
Daniel Boucher
Priscilla Boucher
Richard Bracken
Brampton and Area Community Foundation
Patricia Britton
Doneta Brotchie
Thomas Bryk
Valdene Buckley
Burns Family
Eddie Calisto-Tavares
Cambrian Credit Union
Barry Campbell
Denise Campbell and Andy Van Patter
Laura Campbell
Canadian Association of Gift Planners
Canadian Bridge Federation Charitable Foundation
Stacy Cardigan Smith and Casey Norman
Karina Cardona
Kathryne Cardwell and Charles McDougall
Valerie Chatain-White
Chatham Partners LLC
Katherine and William Cheater
Chris Chipman
The Robert M. Chipman Fund
David Chizda
David Christianson
City of Winnipeg
Roy and Lavona Clarke
Anne Cohan
Darrell Cole
Nan Colledge
Colliers International
Catherine Cook
Joyce Cooper
Creaddo Group
Bev Dalman
Maurice Daniels
Mark and Dorothy Danzker Perpetual Trust Fund
Geraldine De Braune
John Deacon
John Delaney
Tom Dercola
Jill Desilets
Michelle Desrosiers
Mary Dixon
Nigel Dixon
Lissa Donner
Dorais Charities - Les Soeurs du Sauveur Fund
Kreesta Doucette
Patricia Doyle
Terry Duguid
Carolyn Duhamel
Dennis Duncan
Spencer Duncanson
Russ Duthoit
Chris Dyer
W.G. Bill and Helen Eamer
Donna Earl
Julie and Lee Eccles
Ecole Riverbend Community School
EKOS Research Associates Inc.
Albert El Tassi
Employees of Manitoba Public Insurance
Stefan Epp and Laurel Epp-Koop
Noah Erenberg
The Estate Planning Council
Executive Jewels
Robert R. Fabbri
Paul Fieldhouse
Robert Filuk
Harry Finnigan
René Fontaine
Kelly Forzley
Sean Forzley
Ken and Heather Friesen
Thomas Frohlinger
Carolyn Frost and Jeff Palmer
Jonathan and Ashley Frost
Richard L. and Nancy Frost
Larry H. Frostiak
Geoff Garland
Gateway Industries, Sheldon Blank
Lesley Gaudry
James Gibbs
Jacob Giesbrecht
Brent and Debbie Gilbert
Glenelg Fund
Peter and Monina Glowacki and Family
Gary Goodbrandson
Karen Goossen
William Gould
Normand Gousseau
Tracy Graham
Henri Gratton
Great-West Life Assurance Co.
Green Apple Skateboard Shop
Susan Hagemeister
Andy Hamilton
Patrick Hamilton
Susan Hamilton
Gregg and Mary Hanson
Debbie and Ken Harasym
Patricia Hardy
Jack Harper
Evelyn Harrison
Darryl Hartle
Gwen B. Hatch
Teresa Hay
Ken and Ruth Hayes
Health Canada MB/SK Safe Environments Directorate Staff Donations
Bernice and Anthony Herd
Tim Hibbard
Simon Hiebert
Arlene and John Hintsa
Thomas Hodgson
Matthew Holmes
Thomas Holmes
Laura Holt
Houston Family of Bradwardine Fund
Richard and Marilyn Huska
Bonnie and Nick Iafolla
Kathy and Ross James
Marina James
Wendy Janzen
Jewish Foundation of Manitoba
Jewish Foundation -
Ernest I. Silverberg,
Morris Silverberg,
David Silverberg,
Maier Silverberg and
Antzi Silverberg Fund
Jewish Foundation - Gwendolyn and Joseph Secter Fund
Johnston Group
Gordon Jones
Paul Jordan
Junior League of Winnipeg Fund
Jennifer Katz
Adele M. Kavanagh
April Kennedy
David Kraemer
James Kraemer
Margaret Kruschel
Brian Labaty
Gerry and Deborah Labossiere
John Lambert
Norman G. Larsen and Linda Perry
Hugh Latimer
Barbara Latocki
Dolores Laurendeau
Ginette Lavack
Sean Lawton
Joel Lazer
Patricia Lee
Victoria Lehman
Pat Lilley
John and Joy Loewen
Derek Lovlin
LuAnn Lovlin
Richard Lussier and Stephanie Casey
Deborah Lyon
Shannon MacKay
Liza Maheu and Chief Justice Richard Chartier
Michael Malabre
Manitoba Hydro
Manitoba Magazine Publishers' Association
David C. Mann
David Markham
Jackie Markstrom
Gerry Matte
Roxana Mazur
Madame Justice Deborah J. McCawley and The Honourable Otto Lang
Dal McCloy
Pam McLeod
Estelle Meyers
Susan Millican
Barry Minish
Usha Mittoo
Moffat Family
Judy Moon
Vera Moroz
Rev. Margaret Mullin
Mike Murphy
Geoff Nanton
Neil and Nick's Lawn Care
Dana Nelko
Douglas Nelson
Vernon Nelson
Michael Nesbitt
Barbara Nichol
Casey Norman
Rachelle Normand
Ed Northwood
Brinn Oliver
Geertrui Oliver
Wayne O'Rourke
Darlene Ott and Robert R. Rodway
Gerry Parent
Jennifer Partridge
Carolyn Paterson
Peak of the Market
Peel District School Board PSSP
Simone and Allan Penner
Astrid and Tony Peters
Christine Peters
Jennifer Pfuetzner
Pizzeria Gusto
Sherry Benson-Podolchuk and David Podolchuk
Pollard Family Foundation
Myles Pouteau
Geoff Powell
John Poyser
Probe Research
Professional Advisors Breakfast Proceeds
Province of Manitoba - Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors
John Prystanski
Robert Puchniak
Qualico Developments (Winnipeg) Ltd.
William and Heather Quinn
Les and Diane Rankin
Armand and Petra Rapmund
Jennifer Rattray
Rayjo Charitable Trust
RBC Investor Services
Phyllis Reid Jarvis
Herbert Rempel
Republic Architecture
Derek Riley
Blair Riordan
Marilynn Roberts
Rogers Group of Companies
Doreen Romanow and Carol Mazur
Don Ross
John and Penny Rowluk
Royal Bank of Canada
Kerry Ryan
Sister Lesley Sacouman
Brigitte Sandron
Tania Santos
Fay Sasson
Sharon J. Savickey
Juliane Schaible
Barbara Scheuneman
Anita Schreiner
Kristine Schwartz
Lorraine Scollin
Susan Scott
Carly Scramstad
Selkirk and District Community Foundation
Darcia A. C. Senft
Gustaaf Sevenhuysen
Shelter Canadian Properties Limited
Bonnie Siemens
Gord Siemens
Doreen Sigurdson
Sigurdson Financial Group
Jean Sikomas
Terry Snell
Brendan Sonnichsen
Wilma Sotas
Anita L. Southall
Bonnie Staples-Lyon
Eric and Myrna Stefanson
Cynthia Stewart
Jonathan Strauss
Sts. Peter and Paul 50 Plus Club
Chantal Sturk-Nadeau and Christophe Nadeau
Jason Syvixay
Diana Szymanski
Paul Taylor
TD Canada Trust - Prairie Region
Thomas Sill Foundation
Jim Thompson
Lynne Thorkelsson
Klaus Tibelius
Barb and William Toews
Jonathan Toews
AJ Tooley
Samia Torcivia
Tourism Winnipeg Luncheon
Hien Tran
Joanna Turner
Triple A Fund
University Women's Club of Winnipeg
Jane Ursel
Samuel Vaughan
Bill Voulgaris
Rick Walker
Tim Walker
Michelle Wallace
Erin Ward
Lorne Warren
Stan Warsza
Douglas Donn Watt
Daniel Watts
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company
Wednesday Morning Group in Carman, MB
Leslie Weir and Terry Cheater
Jenette and Nathan Westervelt
Nancy and Paul Wheatley
Shawn Whitmore
Joan and Clark Darrell Whyte
Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre
Michael Williams
Bill Willms
Gustine and Dennis Wilton
Winkler Community Foundation
The Winnipeg Foundation
The Winnipeg Foundation Board and Staff
Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation
Monica Woods and Lloyd Fridfinnson
Linda and Graham Wren
Justice W. Scott and Sonya Wright
Wyatt Dowling (Pembina Branch)
Debra Zoerb

Impact in our community

With support from Nourishing Potential, these organizations are providing kids with healthy food and nutrition education, helping them to reach their potential. Since the 2011, Nourishing Potential has granted more than $875,000.

May 2011 to May 2015

Organization Amount
Agape Table $24,800
Aleph-Bet Child Life Enrichment Program $5,000
Andrews Street Family Centre $17,000
Artbeat Studio $9,096
Assiniboine Children's Centre $4,479
Aurora Family Therapy Centre $5,012
Boys And Girls Clubs Of Winnipeg $32,090
Bright Future Day Care $15,675
Broadway Neighbourhood Centre $32,700
Canadian Amateur Boxing Association $2,765
Canadian National Institute for the Blind $2,500
Canu Canada $7,000
Career Trek $10,502
Carpathia Children’s Centre $2,500
Children's Rehabilitation Foundation $18,014
City of Winnipeg – Community Programming $22,882
Clinique Youville Clinic $6,661
Community Education Development Association of Winnipeg (CEDA) $13,369
Dawn and Dusk Before and After School Program $9,454
Elmwood Community Resource Centre and Area Association $7,000
Emmanuel Mission Downtown $5,500
Helping Hands Resource Centre for Immigrants $4,000
Heritage Park Children's Programs $3,500
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) $16,237
Inner City Youth Alive $39,024
James Child Care $3,200
Jubilee Mennonite Church $5,010
Ka Ni Kanichihk $17,160
Kidi-Garden Day Nurseries $18,250
Knowles Centre $7,288
Little People's Place $9,100
Ma Mawi-Wi-Chi-Itata Centre $27,742
Macdonald Youth Services $20,830
Manidoo Gi-Miinigonaan/R.B. Russell Infant Centre $15,250
Manitoba School Improvement Program $8,000
Manitoba Theatre for Young People $13,900
Marymound $5,300
Mosaic-Newcomer Family Resources Network $5,300
Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad $34,318
Newcomers Employment & Education Development Services (NEEDS) $12,000
North End Women's Centre $5,630
Nor'West Co-Op Community Health Centre, $27,000
O.K. Before & After School Child Care Centres $6,643
On The Move $21,077
Osborne House $7,500
Radisson School Before and After School Program, $3,700
Rainbow Resource Centre $14,705
Resource Assistance For Youth $40,480
River Avenue Cooperative Day Nursery $3,000
Riverwood Church Community $4,700
Robertson Before and After School Program $2,000
Rossbrook House $24,000
Seven Oaks School Division $7,000
Sierra Leone Refugee Resettlement $6,500
Spence Neighbourhood Association $34,100
Stanley Knowles Children’s Centre $12,985
Teen Stop Jeunesse $13,960
The Elwick Village And Resource Centre $6,000
The Fort Whyte Foundation $9,700
The Salvation Army - Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre $5,988
The Seven Oaks School Division $2,900
The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra $7,000
University of Winnipeg Foundation $5,500
Villa Rosa $8,000
West Broadway Youth Outreach $22,100
West Central Community Program $6,000
West Central Women's Resource Centre $16,000
Westgrove Children's Centre $3,760
Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport And Recreation Association $22,500
Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation $10,000
Y.E.S. Manitoba $1,500
Y.M.H.A. Jewish Community Centre of Winnipeg (Rady Centre) $1,186
Youth for Christ (Winnipeg) $3,055


Mealtime creates special environment at Ndinawe

Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad

Baking bread at Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad’s Cooking Club.

When it’s dinner time at Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad, cell phones are muted and TVs and computers are turned off. It’s a time when up to 50 youth participants and staff to share a meal, as well as stories, information about the centre’s programming or news of community events. Everyone demonstrates respect and youth clearly value the nutritious meal. Through the Cooking Club, many youth participants at the Selkirk Avenue drop-in centre help prepare the meal. They’re gaining hands-on experience in the kitchen and bringing their own recipe ideas to the table. Support from Nourishing Potential helps purchase nutritious food and basic kitchen equipment.

Providing a mosaic of fresh, yummy foods

Mosaic Newcomer Family Resources Network

Mosaic can provide better snack programs to their participants.

Mosaic Newcomer Family Resources Network provides a number of supports for families, including EAL (English as an Additional Language) for adults. Childcare is provided while parents attend programs and children receive a snack during this time. A grant from Nourishing Potential helped Mosaic enhance its snack program from crackers and fruit to include a wide range of fresh veggies and new flavours for the kids. The grant covered equipment such as a blender and freezer – smoothies became very popular! – as well as a portable sink, which facilitated good hygiene. It also enabled staff to obtain food handling certification.

On a mission for good nutrition

Emmanuel Mission

Kids at Emmanuel Mission are happy to eat their healthy snacks.

Emmanuel Mission’s After-School and Summer Learning Programs provide a safe, stimulating and supportive environment for kids aged five - 15 – most of whom are newcomers or refugees from Burundi, South Sudan and Rwanda. The goal is to make sure that kids who may be at risk, or struggling to keep up at school, don’t fall through the cracks. The programs include nutritious, culturally-sensitive snacks and meals – especially important to families on limited incomes and living in inner-city neighbourhoods where grocery stores are scarce. Breakfasts and lunches offered through the summer program are particularly helpful to participants who normally reply on school meal programs, available only from September to June, for their nutrition needs. A grant from the Nourishing Potential Fund is helping ensure kids get healthy food, along with nutrition information they can share at home.

Harvesting healthy lifestyles

FortWhyte Farms

Youth at FortWhyte Farms learn all about farm to fork.

FortWhyte Farms, Winnipeg’s largest educational farm, acts as a transformative force in the lives of those who participate in its Inner City Youth program. Participants take on the full range of activities from farm to fork: planting and harvesting, caring for livestock, cooking, preserving, and everything in between. Youth participants develop employment skills, learn about nutrition, and gain self-reliance and confidence. Many go on to become summer interns who champion sustainability, healthy lifestyles, social responsibility and leadership. Support from the Nourishing Potential Fund helps ensure participants have access to healthy, locally-grown snacks and meals to fuel their learning, work and personal growth.

Province of Manitoba helps Nourish Potential

Greg Selinger

Greg Selinger wants all young Manitobans to reach their fullest potential.

Why is the Province of Manitoba a lead supporter of Nourishing Potential? Premier Greg Selinger, also a donor to the Fund, explains:

“We believe that food security and providing people with access to education on how to eat healthily and access good, healthy food, is an important part of every young person’s day.

Our job as a provincial government is to ensure that Manitobans can reach their full potential, which is why we even love the name: Nourishing Potential. We’ve learned more and more that when children show up to school and they haven’t had a proper breakfast, they’re just not going to do as well.

Supporting a fund like this, which gets contributions from so many other Manitobans, and Winnipeggers in particular, means that we’re going to be out there supporting people to get the nutrition they need, they healthy food they need, and the education they need, to have a healthy lifestyle. And we’re all better off as a result of that.”

From an interview that originally aired on RiverCity360 on CJNU, 93.7 FM

Nourishing Potential grant goes a long way at NorWest

NorWest Co-op Community Health Centre

Youth get hands-on experience preparing food at NorWest Co-op Community Health Centre.

NorWest Co-op Community Health Centre offers a variety of health and lifestyle programs to residents in the isolated Inkster neighbourhood. And, a grant from Nourishing Potential is helping out at several of them. The Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Program helps newcomer teens adapt to life in Canada. One of the ways to get to know a new country is through food; participants are learning about healthy Canadian foods, which may be unfamiliar to them, and working on good eating habits. Parent Child Coalition programs bring children and their caregivers together at NorWest to learn how to prepare healthy snacks – and share the delicious results! Kids in the Kitchen brings neighbourhood youth into NorWest’s new Community Food Centre to gain hands-on food preparation skills. And, Nourishing Potential support helps the organization provide healthy lunches and after-school snacks to kids who drop-in to its resource centres. That’s a lot of impact for one grant!

Healthy eating no small TASK

Salvation Army

Salvation Army’s TASK program helps kids make healthy choices and try new foods.

Every Monday after school, from September to June, 30 - 40 kids head to TASK (Together After School for Kids) to prepare healthy food. There’s a different recipe each week and kids are broken into teams to tackle salad, entrée or dessert. Teamwork is essential and everyone has a role to play. Participants learn how to work together through delegating, planning and organizing. TASK is a program of The Salvation Army’s Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre, located in an area of south Winnipeg densely populated with newcomers and where poverty rates are high. TASK staff have seen positive outcomes of the program: kids are trying new foods, making healthier choices, and bringing nutrition information (and food!) home to share with their families. The Nourishing Potential Fund has supported healthy ingredients, equipment and food handling training for the program.

City of Winnipeg gets behind Nourishing Potential

Mayor Brian Bowman

Mayor Brian Bowman sees teaching kids to make healthy choices is important for the future of our city.

Why is the City of Winnipeg a lead supporter of Nourishing Potential? Mayor Brian Bowman, also a donor to the Fund, explains:

“Supporting access to nutrition, school snack programs and cooking education really sets up our community for success. The City of Winnipeg has donated $250,000 over three years for this program -- $83,000 this year alone – and it’s because we know that the effects of good health really reverberate across Winnipeg for years to come. If we’re well nourished, we can learn, we can play, we can work better and we can also reduce illness and the need for medical care.

Our population is growing towards a million people and it’s important we empower and support our children, and our youth, to make healthy choices so they can lead our growing, thriving city into a more prosperous future.”

From an interview that originally aired on River City 360 on CJNU, 93.7 FM

Healthy food helps boost career futures

Career Trek

Career Trek’s ‘M’ Program shows participants how to shop for and prep food.

Career Trek helps young people overcome barriers and build essential skills, with a goal of entering the workforce. The ‘M’ Program offers inspiration, career development support and healthy living information to 15 young mothers (aged 14 to 21) and their children. Grants from the Nourishing Potential Fund have enabled Career Trek to add a nutrition component to the program. In addition to receiving healthy meals that help them focus on the program and their career options, participants learn about reading food labels, smart grocery shopping strategies, and the importance of good nutrition. For a program that focuses on helping young women create a better life for themselves and their families, Nourishing Potential is a perfect fit.

Learning about healthy choices, in food and life

Ka Ni Kanichihk

Participant in Ka Ni Kanichihk’s Kistesimaw initiative shows off his fruit smoothie.

Ka Ni Kanichihk helps build the strengths and resilience of Indigenous peoples. Its Kistesimaw mentorship initiative works with Winnipeg children under the age of 12 who have been referred by Manitoba Justice. The goal is to engage them in activities and teachings, and avoid further illegal activity. A Nourishing Potential grant to Kistesimaw supported the program’s life-skills and cultural training; it helped provide three dinners a week for participants and involved them in meal preparation. Children took part in grocery shopping and reading nutritional labels, and gained a solid understanding of good nutrition. Program staff say that in addition to positive growth in all aspects of their lives, participants now make healthier food choices and all have become fans of fruit smoothies.

Personal story about hunger resonate

Jenette Westervelt

Jenette Westervelt was inspired to help kids who go hungry every day.

A former member of The Winnipeg Foundation’s staff, Jenette Westervelt was inspired to give to the Nourishing Potential Fund by a personal story told by the Foundation CEO.

“Rick Frost told me a story about being in the car with his granddaughter when she was hungry. She was upset and he remarked how sad it was that for many children in Winnipeg, it’s not just a matter of getting to their destination so they can get something to eat, hunger is something that affects them every day,” says Ms. Westervelt.

Since then she’s given repeatedly.

“It’s important for me to make a positive impact because of my faith in God and a deep conviction that positive work and investments into others will end up being one of the only things that matters when I look back at my life one day,” she says.

Fun, food and learning all on the menu at WASAC summer camp

Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre

Youth leader making sure younger participants get lots of fresh fruit.

This summer, 1,000 kids will spend time swimming, playing sports, learning and connecting with great role models through free summer day camps hosted by Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre (WASAC). Fortifying them for active days are two healthy snacks and lunch, provided by the organization. Thanks to support from The Winnipeg Foundation’s Nourishing Potential Fund, WASAC is able to provide fresh, nutritious food and help participants learn about healthy options and the environmental impact of their food choices. The grant also helps WASAC’s youth leaders gain food handling certification, which enables them to build experience for their resumes and has inspired one young person to pursue Culinary Arts at Red River College.

CanU has can-do attitude about healthy food


CanU participants learning food-handling safety.

CanU is an innovative mentorship program that brings 360 students in grades five to eight to the University of Manitoba campus where they build life skills and confidence, explore interests and future careers, and work with inspiring mentors. Healthy eating plays an important role at CanU. Through its Nutrition Education Program, children gain hands-on cooking skills as they prepare nutritious, low-cost meals for themselves and their mentors. Participants also learn about Canada’s Food Guide, how to work with kitchen equipment, and food-handling safety. Other nutrition-based programming includes the CanU Café, where participants share a healthy, family-style meal and learn about table manners, proper use of utensils, and clean-up. The Nutrition Academy is an additional learning opportunity for kids who want to build on their fundamental cooking skills.

Marking a milestone by helping others

Anita Southall

Empowering kids through Nourishing Potential appealed to Anita Southall.
Photo courtesy Andrew Sikorsky

For her birthday Anita Southall asked friends and family to make donations to the Nourishing Potential Fund in lieu of gifts.

“I really reflected on, as most people my age do, I surely don’t need gifts for turning 50,” she says.

Southall got involved with Nourishing Potential because she thinks healthy food is a right. A Partner with Filmore Riley LLP, Ms. Southall is also Co-Chair of the Nourishing Potential Advisory Committee.

“There’s nothing more basic in the building blocks of our community than nourishing children. They’re our future.”

Ms. Southall also believes the initiative’s holistic approach speaks to skills that must be fostered in younger generations.

“It’s the concept of not just giving children food, but empowering them to understand the choices they can make for their own growth and healthy development, and that food can be fun and nutritious at the same time. Kids can support other kids, so they develop community by working together.”

Healthy lifestyles at Sister Mac

Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg at Sister MacNamara School

Sister MacNamara’s after school meets the dietary requirement of their diverse students.

After school every day, 70 kids go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg (BGCW)’s program at Sister MacNamara School for physical activity, homework help and great role models. Healthy snacks are an important part of the program, too. Many of the participants come from low income and newcomer families for whom healthy food is sometimes difficult to access.

A Nourishing Potential grant means the Club can better-accommodate those with special diets, including halal and vegetarian requirements, which make food more costly. Fresh foods also mean greater variety and participants are being introduced to new fruits and vegetables.

Kids are also learning about food preparation, budgeting and how nutrition fits in to a healthy lifestyle – lessons exemplified by the Club’s role models.

Healthy food fuels summer learning

Community School Investigators

The CSI program makes sure every student has the energy to learn.

Summer learning loss, a setback that can happen to students after a two month break from school, is a big issue for teachers and kids who have to re-learn concepts and skills. It is particularly common among children living in poverty who have less access to camps and summer programs.

Since 2005, the CSI (Community School Investigators) program, now operated through Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, has helped ensure kids are up to speed and ready for the classroom every September. The free, five week academic program is run in 15 sites and reached 1,000 kids last year. CSI combines academics with sports and field trips.

A Nourishing Potential grant from The Winnipeg Foundation helps support the purchase of healthy food for the two meals participants receive each day – fuel for their bodies and brains.

Early lessons highlight importance of nutrition

Jason Syvixay

Jason Syvixay knows firsthand how Nourishing Potential will help kids in our community.

Growing up, Jason Syvixay watched his parents go without to ensure he and his siblings had enough to eat.

“I grew up in the North End of the city and I saw my parents struggle,” he says.

Unfortunately he knew other kids whose parents weren’t always able to offer as much as his own.

“You had classmates or people who were not as nourished or who didn’t have the same opportunity and you could see quite easily how well they were doing was connected to whether they had food.”

This has stuck with him.

“That’s always been my inspiration for everything I do now: thinking about my upbringing, and the lessons I’ve learned from my own parents about supporting others, being part of a community.”

Mr. Syvixay is Managing Director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and a donor to the Nourishing Potential Fund.

It takes a village

Eating together provides more than just food.

For newcomer youth, adapting to life in Winnipeg can be difficult. A feeling of isolation is common but the Peaceful Village program is helping to change that.

It provides after school language and literacy support and recreational opportunities to more than 300 students five days a week at three locations. Food is an important component and a Nourishing Potential grant helps ensure meals are healthy. In some cases, it’s the only meal a participant will get in a day. A spin-off called Village Kitchen brings participants’ families together once a month to share a meal, learn about the program and build community.

Building Belonging and healthy habits

Spence Neighbourhood Association

Kids learn how to make mini pies at Building Belonging’s Cooking Club.

Between 40 and 60 children from six to 12 years old come daily to Building Belonging, a program of Spence Neighbourhood Association (SNA). A teen program serving an additional 30 to 60 young people runs directly after, as well as on weekends. The two programs aim to build a sense of belonging and ownership among neighbourhood kids; preparing and sharing a healthy meal is a big part of that. The program’s Cooking Club gets participants involved in gardening, cooking and meal planning.

SNA wasn’t always able to offer a healthy food, and staff noticed that being hungry had a negative effect on kids’ behaviour. The Nourishing Potential grant has helped ensure that healthy food, including fruits and veggies, is available every day.

Seeing impact inspires support

Jennifer Rattray

Jennifer Rattray sees the difference Nourishing Potential is making.
Photo courtesy of Simeon Rusnak 

Jennifer Rattray has seen the difference healthy food makes. In her decade at the University of Winnipeg, she encountered “too many little ones who go hungry” in the inner city.

There’s one example that especially resonates.

“I will always remember a teen I met who was beyond thin,” says Rattray of her experience working with the Wii Chi Waakanak Learning Centre.

“Through Nourishing Potential we were able to provide him with healthy snacks, and he gained about six pounds in three weeks. After a few weeks, he told us how clearly he was able to think – that he had always felt sort of ‘fuzzy’ but he thought that was normal. He did not realize the impact malnutrition was having on his mind and his body. It is something I will never forget.”

Wii Chi Waakanak Learning Centre, an outreach program of the University of Winnipeg, received a Nourishing Potential grant for its Strengthening our Youth program. Ms. Rattray, now Assistant Deputy Minister, Community Engagement and Corporate Services, is a donor to the Nourishing Potential Fund.

Pop fizzles out at Win Gardner Place

Win Gardner
Kids in PACE making healthy sandwiches.

There’s something missing at Win Gardner Place: sugary drinks.

The community centre, located on McGregor Street in the North End, has banned pop and energy drinks. It all started after PACE (Positive Athletic Cultural Experiences), a popular after-school program, received support from Nourishing Potential.

The grants helped make healthy food a focus for PACE, which provides snacks and meals in addition to cultural and recreation programs. Instead of chicken fingers and fries, kids at Win Gardner are now snacking on salads and stir-fries. Support from Nourishing Potential is also helping young people gain cooking skills and nutrition knowledge.

Those lessons in healthy eating, and the enthusiasm with which kids embraced nutritious food, gave staff the idea of banning pop – turning youth into role models for the entire community.

Cooking up change

Broadway Neighbourhood Centre
Kids learn about new fruits and flavours when creating their own parfaits.

Kids are cooking up change at Broadway Neighbourhood Centre (BNC).

Every other Wednesday, kids gather to make a meal from scratch and enjoy it together. The program is a partnership between BNC and the Good Food Club, which helps address food security in West Broadway where many families live on low incomes. A grant from Nourishing Potential helped the Kids Cooking program buy fresh, healthy food, along with cooking equipment and staff training.

Participants are learning about nutrition and seeing, first-hand, where food comes from. Last year they visited a local farm and, later, turned the produce they harvested into spaghetti sauce. And, the program is expanding taste buds; instead of hotdogs and pizza, kids at BNC now asking for extra veggies.

Expanding minds and palates

Kids prepping healthy foods with On the Move's Cooking Club.

Cooking Club is one of the most popular activities at On the Move daycare’s after-school program, where kids learn how to make healthier versions of their favourites – pizza, taco dip and pastas. And they’re not just building skills, they’re also expanding their palates and trying new foods. On the Move is also introducing kids to gardening – a great way to teach them about where their food comes from. The idea is to help kids, many of whom come from low-income families, gain lasting knowledge and good eating habits that will last a lifetime. A grant from The Winnipeg Foundation’s Nourishing Potential program ensures On the Move can purchase healthy ingredients and new kitchen equipment.

Newcomers and nutrition

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba
IRCOM participants making protein bars.

Many newcomer kids to Winnipeg are trying so hard to fit in, they’re adopting one of Canada’s bad habits: eating junk food. The after-school drop-in program at IRCOM (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba) aims to change that by introducing newcomer youth to tasty, healthy snacks, with support from the Nourishing Potential Fund. After school and in the summer, about 75 children attend IRCOM’s programs every day, where they are encouraged to help prepare food and make healthy choices. It’s information they can also share at home with parents who may be navigating unfamiliar ingredients and cooking techniques.

Inclusion in the kitchen

Rehabilitation Centre For Children Cooking Club
Rehabilitation Centre for Children’s Cooking Club helps everyone  prepare healthy meals.

In eight Winnipeg schools, youth with special needs – working alongside their peers – are learning how to prepare delicious meals. The Rehabilitation Centre For Children’s Cooking Club takes place weekly and helps youth with special needs gain important life skills and independence. Using adaptive kitchen equipment, including cutting boards with attached knives for one-handed chopping and cut-resistant gloves, participants work with the centre’s staff to prepare healthy meals. (A crowd favourite is spaghetti with salad, garlic toast and fruit kabobs for dessert.) Youth also take part in meal planning, grocery shopping and learning about nutrition information. Support from the Nourishing Potential fund helped the program purchase the special cooking tools and healthy ingredients.

Healthy food for healthy families

Agape Table
Shannon Kirkness with three-year-old son Aireius at Agape Table.

Thanks to Agape Table for Kids, Jessica Pahl’s children are eating broccoli and carrots – something that had been a struggle at home. The weekly program for low-income families focuses on healthy eating and aims to instill good eating habits at an early age. Together, parents and their children play games and share a healthy snack, while learning about balanced meals and serving size. In addition to gaining information they can put into action in their own kitchens, participating families can also take healthy food home. Each receives a gift card for Agape Table’s low-cost grocery, a program that sells fresh fruits, veggies, dairy and meat at cost.

Nutrition know-how in Gilbert Park

Gilbert Park
Kids in the Kitchen participants showing off their healthy creations.

Participants in Kids in the Kitchen are asking tough questions about the food on grocery store shelves. Thanks to lessons in nutrition through Gilbert Park’s Going Places program, they’re learning to be savvy consumers. The program, located in a Manitoba Housing community, is a partnership with Nor’West Co-op Community Health Centre. The neighbourhood is isolated and food security, as well as diet-related health issues, are a big concern for residents.

Thanks to support from Nourishing Potential, kids are learning how to make good nutrition choices on a limited budget and gaining hands-on cooking skills. The program has been active for six years and long-time youth participants are now taking a leadership role in the kitchen and becoming ambassadors for healthy eating.

Home-cooked meals create family environment

Inner City Youth Alive
Chelsea McCallum and Shay Harris volunteering at Inner City Youth Alive.

Inner City Youth Alive is a busy drop-in centre on Salter Street where kids go to shoot hoops, climb the rock wall and make arts and crafts. Food is a big draw as well, and so is the homey atmosphere of the centre’s kitchen and dining room.

Youth seek out the quiet ICYA kitchen where they can gain cooking skills and take part in the relaxing, satisfying activities that go into preparing a meal. They also have the opportunity to connect, one-on-one, with peers as well as ICYA staff and volunteers. Sharing a home-cooked meal helps create a family environment where young people feel secure and supported. The Nourishing Potential Fund has helped ICYA purchase a new fridge, cooking equipment and healthy food for meals.

More stories coming soon. Check back throughout the summer.

More videos

Helping Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre's PACE Program

About Nourishing Potential

Benefits of eating well

Apply for a Nourishing Potential Grant

Nourishing Potential grants support charitable organizations that provide nutritious food to children and youth attending after-school programs, drop-in centres, community centres and family resource centres.

Want to learn more or apply for a Nourishing Potential grant?

More about Nourishing
Potential Grants

Publications & Updates

Gifts Help the Orchard Grow

The Nourishing Potential Fund is like an orchard. As trees are planted it will provide fruit year after year.

Every gift to the Nourishing Potential Fund helps the orchard grow. The goal is to grow the Fund to be a $5 million endowment – this is our orchard that will be here forever.

A fund of this size will generate approximately $250,000 per year for granting – this is our annual harvest. Please help us grow an orchard and nourish a city.

  • Every apple is symbolic of $10,000 in gifts
  • Every full apple tree = $100,000 in gifts
  • Every full wheelbarrow = $100,000 in grants

The (endowment) orchard
Our goal: $5 million
Current contributions: $3,289,245
Current market value: $4,134,716
The (granting) harvest
Our goal: grant $1 million
Total amount granted: $885,577
As of June 1, 2015

Building this fund is a community effort and every gift from our generous donors is appreciated.

Make a gift

Nourishing Potential is a collaboration between the Assiniboine Credit Union, City of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, Wawanesa Insurance, Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation and The Winnipeg Foundation, along with donors from all walks of life.

Nourish the potential of Winnipeg kids!

Make a gift

As of 11:59 PM, September 7, 2015

How Can We Help?

Rick Lussier

Rick Lussier

Director of Community Grants
(toll-free 1.877.974.3631)
Email Rick ›

Meet our Grants Team

Support for nutrition programs

Are you a charitable organization providing a food program for our city's youth?

Apply for a
Nourishing Potential grant

In our community

Grants are made twice a year helping kids have access and learn about health foods.

See the most recent
Nourishing Potential Grants

Recipe for Success

In spring 2014, kids in Gr. 4-6 competed in creating the best sandwich recipe.

See who won the
Video Cooking Contest