New Poll Commissioned by the Quaker® brand Reveals 86 per cent of Canadian Teachers Believe Hunger Negatively Affects Students’ Ability to Learn

Sep 7, 2011 | Corporate Member News

The Quaker brand Launches New National Program on Facebook and In Stores To Support Food Banks Canada 

To view the Enriched Media Release, click here: 

They may have pencils and books, but hundreds of thousands of Canadian kids may be going back to school this fall without an essential tool to help them be their very best: a nutritious breakfast.

Statistics Canada reports that more than 700,000 children live in households that don’t have access to enough food.1 Comparably, Food Banks Canada reports that nearly 900,000 people rely on the assistance of a food bank in order to have enough to eat each month. Thirty-eight per cent of those assisted are children. Half of the 370,000 households helped by food banks are families with children.2

Starting the day right with breakfast – often called the most important meal of the day – can help to ensure kids are set up for success in the classroom, but many Canadian kids don’t have breakfast because they do not have enough to eat.

In a new poll of Canadian teachers called “The Pulse on Hungry Kids in Canada,” commissioned by the Quaker brand, a resounding 98 per cent of teachers polled agreed that starting the day with a nutritious breakfast is essential for student success. And yet, more than two-thirds (68%) of teachers believe there are students in their classroom who come to school hungry, without eating breakfast or a sufficient breakfast.

Teachers also report observing negative effects in their classroom, which they believe are a result of hunger. Ninety-six per cent of teachers say they have observed a reduced attention span in students that they believe to be hungry. Seventy-two percent say they have observed hungry students show poor memory function and 71 per cent say they have observed those students have difficulty problem solving. In fact, more than half  (54%) of Canadian teachers polled also said they have used their own money to purchase food for a student they believed to be hungry.

The breakfast experts at the Quaker brand believe in the power of a nutritious breakfast. To do their part to support the needs of Canadian kids who go without breakfast, the Quaker brand has introduced a new two-part program that includes an interactive online program to donate one million bowls of oatmeal3 to help feed Canadians, including the approximately 320,000 children who are helped by food banks in Canada each month.2

Help Quaker Donate One Million Oatmeal Breakfasts To Food Banks Canada

Starting September 7, Quaker Canada is asking Canadians to join them on Facebook at and in Quebec at where visitors can play a fun and easy game that will automatically donate packets of Quaker instant oatmeal to Food Banks Canada. To participate, Canadians just need to like the Quaker Canada Facebook page, and then click on the “Unlock Amazing” tab to pick out their favourite flavour of Quaker Instant Oatmeal.

By clicking on their favourite box, it will reveal an automatic donation of one, five or 10 breakfasts that Quaker Canada will give to Food Banks Canada. Canadians can play the game once a day on the Quaker Canada Facebook page, and they can share the game and encourage their friends and family to help the Quaker brand achieve its goal of one million donations of a packet of instant oatmeal.

The Quaker brand will roll out another part of the same program in grocery stores across Canada starting in October. For every participating Quaker product4 purchased in stores that display promotional signage between October 16 and November 20, 2011, the Quaker brand will donate a packet of instant oatmeal to Food Banks Canada, to a maximum of 500,000 packets. This will account for half of the donation expected to be made during both the campaigns. 

“Starting the day right is important, especially for kids,” says Kathryn Matheson, Vice President, Marketing Quaker Foods and PepsiCo Foods Innovation at PepsiCo Foods Canada. “Learning takes energy, and eating a good breakfast is important to help kids thrive at school.”

“The Quaker brand believes that a breakfast which includes oatmeal can help start the day right,” Matheson says. “However, the reality is that many Canadian children need help to make that happen. The Quaker brand developed this program because we believe in the good work that Food Banks Canada does. We want to help ensure that all Canadian kids have the opportunity to start each day right and to be the best they can be at school, especially children whose families are in need.”

This is the second time the Quaker brand has partnered with Food Banks Canada to undertake a significant program to donate breakfast. In January 2011, through the Unlock Amazing program with Olympic Champion Alexandre Bilodeau, the Quaker brand donated two million oatmeal breakfasts to Food Banks Canada. By the end of 2011, the Quaker brand plans to have donated a total of three million oatmeal breakfasts to the cause.

The Quaker brand partners with Food Banks Canada because there is an increasing need for support of food banks. Food Banks Canada reports that 35 per cent of its member food banks reported not having enough food to meet their current needs.2 Over the last two years, food bank use in Canada has risen by 28 per cent, an unprecedented rate of growth.2

Why Oatmeal is Part of A Nutritious Start To The Day

The breakfast experts at the Quaker brand believe in the power of a nutritious breakfast. A breakfast including oatmeal is a nutritious choice to start the day right. When we think about oats, words like wholesome and good for you come to mind, and for good reason.

Oats are a good source of fibre, consisting of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Research supports the link between the consumption of oatmeal and the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels. 

Health Canada recently confirmed the beneficial role oat fibre can play in reducing cholesterol, approving the claim ‘oat fibre helps reduce cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease. 1 packet (33-46 g) of Quaker Instant Oatmeal supplies 30 to 40 per cent of the daily amount of the fibres shown to help reduce cholesterol.’5

Research over the past few decades has suggested additional benefits of breakfast consumption. A scientific review of 47 studies examined the association of breakfast consumption with nutritional adequacy, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents.6 The study concluded that eating breakfast compared with skipping breakfast was associated with superior nutritional profiles, less likelihood of being overweight and may improve cognitive function related to memory, test grades, and school attendance.

“The Pulse on Hungry Kids in Canada”: Other Poll Results and Methodology

From August 12 to August 15, 2011, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1,004 Canadians that teach elementary, middle, high school, college, or university. Eight-seven per cent of those polled teach the grades of kindergarten through grade 12/CEGEP (78 per cent in Quebec). Fifty-four per cent of those polled teach elementary and middle school levels (71 per cent in Quebec). The sample includes Angus Reid Forum panelists and panelists from a trusted Angus Reid Forum external sample provider. The margin of error on the full base — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 3.1%. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The online survey did not contain questions featuring any branded consumer products.


  1. Health Canada. Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004): Income-Related Household Food Security in Canada, 2007. 
  2. HungerCount 2010: A comprehensive report on hunger and food bank use in Canada, by Food Banks Canada. 
  3. The estimated number of bowls of oatmeal Quaker will donate is based on donations (measured in pounds), using the average oatmeal serving size of 30g.
  4. Purchase a box of Quaker® Life®, Harvest Crunch®, Squares™, Muffets® or Cap’n Crunch® cereals (all flavours/varieties, 350 g – 800 g), Quaker® Instant Oatmeal (all flavours/varieties, 228 g – 430 g), Quaker® Hearty Medleys™ Instant Multigrain Hot Cereal (all flavours, 216 g), Quaker® Oatmeal to Go® Oatmeal Bars & Squares (all flavours, 200 g – 300 g), Quaker® Granola Bars (all flavours/varieties, 132 g – 206 g), Café Squares™ Granola Squares (all flavours, 140 g) or Granola Crunch’ers® Bite-Size Granola Snacks (all flavours, 120 g) at participating locations displaying promotional signage between 12:00:00 AM ET on October 16, 2011 and 11:59:59 PM ET on November 20, 2011, and the Quaker® brand will donate one (1) packet of Quaker® Instant Oatmeal (30 g) to Food Banks Canada, up to a maximum of 500,000 packets.
  5. Health Canada Claim: 
  6. Rampersaud, G.C. et al. Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight and academic performance in children. J Am Diet Assoc 105:743-760 (2005). 

About Angus Reid Forum

Angus Reid Forum is Canada’s leading on-line market research panel. It was launched in 2006 by Angus Reid Strategies (now Vision Critical) to give Canadians the opportunity to voice their opinions on a variety of topics and issues. Vision Critical, a well-respected research firm based in North America, with offices globally, owns and operates Angus Reid Forum. Vision Critical pairs the world’s leading market research specialists with the most innovative software developers, marrying the speed and power of on-line technology with the precision of market research. 

About Food Banks Canada & PepsiCo Canada

Food Banks Canada is the national organization representing the food bank community across Canada. Our members and their respective agencies serve approximately 85 per cent of people accessing emergency food programs nation-wide. Our mission is to meet the short-term need for food and find long-term solutions to hunger. Food Banks Canada delivers its food industry donations to its members through the National Food Sharing System, with donated transportation. Visit for more information.

PepsiCo Canada including the Quaker brand is a Food Banks Canada food partner and donates food and beverages products to select Affiliate Member food banks across the country for distribution to Canadians in need. In 2010, PepsiCo Canada donated nearly one million pounds of food to Food Banks Canada affiliated food banks.

About the Quaker brand in Canada

The Quaker brand provides the whole grain goodness of oats in a power-packed line of popular products from oatmeal to cereals and snack bars, including Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Quick Quaker Oats, Quaker Oatmeal Squares™ Cereal and Quaker Granola Bars. For more information, visit or the Quaker Canada Facebook page at Quaker is one of PepsiCo Canada’s flagship brands. 

About PepsiCo Canada

PepsiCo Canada is organized into two business units.  PepsiCo Foods Canada includes the Frito Lay Canada and Quaker businesses. PepsiCo Beverages Canada includes the Pepsi, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses. For more information, please visit

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses — Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola — also make hundreds of other enjoyable and wholesome foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo’s promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit 

For further information:



Karen Krugel
905-949-8255 ext. 233
416-559-9200 – cell
[email protected] 

Anthony Tiburzi
905-949-8255 ext. 227
416-371-6463 – cell
[email protected] 

Nichola Rochon
905-949-8255 ext. 231
416-460-3159  – cell
[email protected]

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