Bring on the smiles

January 17, 2017
The team at McCain Foods Limited believes some of the warmest joys are shared over food everyone loves.
McCain employees serving a Home for Dinner

Few things say “home” quite like a home cooked meal.

Thanks to McCain Foods Limited, families with seriously ill children staying at Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto can always taste a little bit of normalcy in the kitchen at their “home away from home.”

RMHC Toronto’s state-of-the-art cooking facilities are known as the McCain Kitchen, in recognition of the $1 million commitment McCain made when we built our House in 2011. It has become a gathering place for families, full of food, fellowship and fun.

The McCain Kitchen

On top of its financial support for RMHC Toronto and Houses across Canada, McCain engages its employees in our mission. For example, Jayne MacDonald, Dietitian/Nutrition Scientist at McCain Foods Limited, has provided countless hours of expertise to RMHC Toronto’s staff and volunteers since 2011. For our Home for Dinner program – which McCain employees participate in every year – Jayne offered invaluable advice as we transitioned to serving dozens more families when we moved to our new House. It’s a program she strongly believes in.

“Most of these families spend the majority of their day in a hospital, so it means a lot that they can come ‘home’ to a warm meal,” says Jayne. The benefits are not just nutritional – they’re emotional as well.

“Mealtime is one of the key opportunities for families to come together and communicate. If we can put dinner on the table with no stress for the families, it opens up a chance for parents to talk to their children that otherwise might not have been there.”

In association with SickKids, Jayne helped develop a dietetic internship program at the House in May 2012. Since then, nine students have participated, helping to create nutritious Home for Dinner menus, teach nutrition seminars and launch Kitchen Chaos, a series of cooking classes for families.

“Kitchen Chaos is so much fun,” says Jayne. “Children and their parents learn culinary skills from trained chefs in a totally relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.”

A chef helping children season chicken

McCain continues to support RMHC Toronto in new ways, including a $10,000 sponsorship for our upcoming family-friendly fundraising event, RECESS.  

“McCain is a family business with family values,” says Andrea Davis, Director of Government and Public Relations. “We’re committed to giving back to the communities in which we operate, and we’re proud to provide a little enjoyment to the families RMHC Toronto supports.”

Jayne has felt this firsthand during her many visits to the House.

“Children at RMHC Toronto are always smiling, so you just know it’s a positive place to be.”

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