LEGO recognizes I Can For Kids for community work in Calgary as part of international campaign

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When the pandemic spread to Alberta, the immediate need for food for even more Calgary kids prompted I Can For Kids to open three months ahead of schedule.

Sutton Garner founder of I Can For Kids poses for a photo at the charity organization’s warehouse in Calgary in 2019. I Can For Kids provides food for the kids who depend on schools nutrition programs during the summer. Photo by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

Instead of supplying their 30 community partners with food packs to distribute to families, Garner pivoted to gift cards. I Can For Kids delivered more than $550,000 worth of grocery gift cards since April, supporting more than 19,000 kids in 130 communities in the city.

“COVID-19 really disrupted the food industry and we weren’t able to get the volumes of food that we needed to run our typical summer program this year. Gift cards were the quickest way for families to get the food that they needed,” she said.

“We are continuing to provide over $100,000 more in grocery gift cards this fall. People who were already impacted by food insecurity have been further impacted, and there’s a whole new population impacted because of job loss, early school closures and interrupted school nutrition programs.”

Garner’s sandwich is one of many structures that will be featured in the docu-series on LEGO’s website. For the project, a four-metre-tall globe was built from more than 350,000 LEGO bricks at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark, which features creations from kids all over the world.

Rebuild the World was, in part, a response to data from the LEGO Group that found play is providing a vital role in keeping the whole family entertained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The LEGO Play Well Global Study this year found that 95 per cent of children wish they played more often as a family, and 94 per cent of parents say that play helps develop creative skills.

“It was neat to be chosen for this international project, and it’s cool being able to share my creativity and the work I’m doing in my community internationally,” said Garner.

sbabych@postmedia.com
Twitter: @BabychStephanie

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