We’ve partnered with Special Olympics Canada to help more Canadians with intellectual disabilities, and their loved ones, Eat Better, Feel Better and Do Better. Together, Special Olympics Canada and Sobeys Inc. Better Food Fund will provide thousands of Canadians with intellectual disabilities—from two-year-olds to adults—as well as their families, caregivers and coaches access to nutrition guides, cooking classes and fresh, accessible food.
Sobeys employees are sharing their passion for better food and bringing this exciting partnership to life in hundreds of neighbourhoods across Canada. Based on feedback and ideas from employees and Special Olympics provincial chapters, we have developed two programs focused on nutrition education:
The vision of the Sobeys Inc. Better Food Fund is to help more Canadians - regardless of income, age or ability - have access to affordable wholesome food, basic cooking skills and nutrition education.
In Canada, 40,000 athletes and 19,000 volunteers participate in daily programs and competitions across 12 provincial/territorial chapters and in over 450 communities. They offer sport skill training in 18 different summer and winter sports. For those whose ambitions follow a competitive path, Special Olympics offers competitive opportunities at the local, regional, national and world levels.
While many know Special Olympics from their games and competitions, this incredible organization is so much more than games. They provide resources that focus on basic motor skill development such as the Active Start and Fundamentals programs, for ages 2 to 12. Each day of the week, in small towns and large cities you can find a Special Olympics program at a school gym, on a soccer field, in the skating arena, at the pool or the curling rink.
We are very proud that Sobeys employees are Special Olympics athletes or have a loved one involved in the organization. We continue to hear inspiring stores from customers who also benefit from Special Olympics in their community.
Canadians with intellectual disabilities live with the realities of serious health conditions. Fifty percent are likely to experience obesity, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. In addition, health services can be ill-equipped to educate, diagnose and treat people with intellectual disabilities, leading to increased risk and challenges. Proper nutrition education is critical to reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Through our research and work with Special Olympics, we’ve learned that athletes and their caregivers face many obstacles that stand in the way of healthy eating habits. Challenges such as:
Athletes, caregivers, volunteers and Special Olympics employees have asked us to help with:
We’ve launched a new soup in support of Special Olympics Canada! Visit your local Sobeys, Safeway or Foodland store and pick up the delicious Sensations by Compliments Creamy Mexican Style Black Bean Chipotle Soup. .25 cents from each sale will support programs in your local Special Olympics provincial chapter.
Research shows that people with intellectual disabilities face serious adverse health risks. Fifty percent of people with intellectual disabilities are more likely to experience obesity, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Nutrition education is critical to reducing the risk of chronic disease. Special Olympics Canada has over 80,000 community members involved in their organization in hundreds of communities across the country. Their grassroots commitment to the local community and to creating healthier Canadians is a great fit!
Access to information and resources can be limited. People with intellectual disabilities face many challenges and the necessity for increased diligence on nutrition is important. We know that eating healthy is possible when "how to" information is made available.
Together, we will provide nutrition education and cooking skills in Special Olympics programs across the country. We’ll make this possible by offering Better Food Nutrition Sessions. In addition, pre-selected stores will lead Better Food Store Experiences in select markets across the country. By 2019, it is our goal to reach over 20,000 athletes, caregivers and coaches.
There will be a series of lesson plans for the Better Food Nutrition Sessions. Sessions will cover the following topics: how to choose healthy food, discovering fresh and healthy food, how to shop healthy on a budget and easy recipes. Volunteer facilitators will be trained on the lesson plans created by Special Olympics and Sobeys.
We are identifying additional ways to help at the local level. This includes events and initiatives in the regions where we operate. To date, employees and stores across the company have planned BBQ's, community events and fundraisers in support of their local chapter.
Our total commitment to date is more than $1,000,000. We know that there are many unique ways that we can grow this partnership. We are working with local leaders in the Company to create a roadmap with opportunities to advance our efforts on a regional level.
The Paralympic Games mirrors the Olympic Games with the exception that it features athletes with physical disabilities in sporting events catered to their abilities. Paralympic athletes may have physical disabilities that impede their mobility. Special Olympics is a grassroots community organization that welcomes neighbours with intellectual disabilities of all ability levels to participate in sport and mobility programs. There are local, provincial, national and international competitions for those who wish to compete however Special Olympics transforms lives through the joy of sport, every day, in hundreds of communities across Canada.