Jamie Oliver helps launch fund to support access to better food

Sobeys Launch Event - . Photo by Jennifer Dibble

TORONTO- Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver joined Sobeys officials Wednesday to help launch The Better Food Fund, starting with a donation of $500,000 to Free The Children to co-develop Home Cook Heroes.

“The Better Food Fund is an initiative we’re launching today where we will work towards educating Canadians to eat better, feel better and do better,” said Marc Poulin, president and CEO of Sobeys Inc.

Home Cook Heroes is a program that will provide Canadian children between the ages of 12 and 17 with nutrition literacy, food awareness and basic cooking skills.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was there to lend his voice. He says knowing how to cook fresh food from scratch is an essential life-skill.

“Not only is it essential, but it’s actually a human right in my mind. When the biggest killer in this country is diet related disease one of the many things that we can do is activate teaching the next generation about food; where it comes from how it affects their body,” said Jamie.

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There were many students from local schools there to learn how to cook with the celebrity chef.

Angela Resko, a 15-year-old student at St. Basil-the-Great College School, was one of the many students participating in the event.

“I love chips and all this unhealthy things, and I feel that now I’m like inspired to like make healthier things.”

The Home Cook Heroes program is the first initiative under the Better Food Fund and is being co-developed with Free The Children, a charity co-founded by Marc and Craig Kielburger.

“We’re all about getting kids to do good things in the world. Locally and globally and that starts with fuelling yourself, learning about healthy food and then making a difference,” said Craig Kielburger.

Over 500,000 Canadian students go through the program a year.

“To learn about how to cook in your own schools and in your own home and then what that means to give to local food banks, to tackle hunger at home. So challenging kids to do good things for their own body and also all of Canada,” said Kielburger.

Oliver said that he is happy to lend his voice to Sobeys to help educate young people and get them excited about cooking with real food.

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“I think if we can get them excited about food and get them to have ownership they’re going to roughly make the right choice most of the time,” he said.

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