summerlunch+ was founded by Susan Wright in the fall of 2015, with a plan to implement the first phase in the summer of 2016. Susan had worked in the Thorncliffe area and was familiar with their amazing school nutrition programs, so she approached the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO) who were receptive. TNO holds a summer camp for 400 kids and this was a great opportunity to provide healthy meals, food education and hands-on learning to 400 kids each day.
The Toronto District School Board has two amazing programs that help students find summer jobs and that make use of school facilities over the summer. The Focus on Youth program provides employment and leadership opportunities for youth in priority communities and the Priority Schools Initiative helps not-for-profit organizations gain free access to space to run programs where people can engage in meaningful activities. We are going to make our lunches with the help of high-school students in the local public school, where camp takes place.
Susan is getting the word out and now multiple organizations and excellent people are jumping on board. It’s early in our journey and we are excited about how far we’ve come. There is a lot more to do this year and we hope you want to help!
Susan Wright worked in student nutrition for several years, as the Regional Director for Ontario at the Breakfast Club of Canada. She was regularly asked by parents, community groups and by students themselves for support outside of the school day, and decided to launch summerlunch+ to address that need.
Susan is a human resources professional with over 20 years of experience in the corporate, non-profit, and public sectors. She worked at Bank of Montreal and Labatt for a combined ten years, then with the Earth Ranger Foundation, JUMP Math, and the Breakfast Club of Canada for another decade. She wants to give young people a great start in life, and believes that healthy food, lots of activity, and sharing meals with friends and family is the basis for good living!
Angela Simo Brown
Jim and Joan Wright, who taught me kindness every day of my life
Chelsea Gallagher who showed me that my work life could have meaning
Debbie Fields and the great folks at FoodShare for ongoing support
Paul Estey for his big ideas
Liz Wigmore and Chris Guthrie for being cheerleaders
Heather and Dennis O’Connor who were early supporters
Adrienne Phillips who makes me look good on paper, and online