Kids Help

Partnered with Kids Help Phone to ensure 24/7 help for Black and Indigenous youth.

Kids Help

Why It Matters

Our communities are all about how we come together as partners to make progress, tackle shared challenges and ensure everyone can prosper. This collective action remains critically important in a rapidly changing world, which is why community investment continues to be one of our Big Three areas of sustainability focus. Providing access to healthy and affordable food, nutrition education and early interventions in child and youth mental health means healthier tomorrows for more Canadians. And doing this in a way that fosters diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) means our communities can be fairer, stronger and more resilient too.

Fiscal 2022 Performance Highlight


~$19M donated to support healthy bodies and minds in our communities ($6M in corporate donations and $13M raised) in fiscal 2022

Our Approach

Our commitment to being community-engaged is embedded in our core values. Community investment is a major area of focus for our business and our teams—not only because we care about the places where we live and work, but also because it helps to deliver on our business strategy by inspiring our customers and our people.

Our Community Investment Strategy is all about fostering healthier tomorrows for Canadians through our work in two key pillars:

Nourishing Healthy Bodies

Removing barriers to access healthy and affordable food
Nurturing healthy

Nurturing Healthy Minds

Ensuring more children and youth get the mental health support they need at an early stage

These pillars are also fully integrated with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Strategy, ensuring the ways we foster healthy bodies and minds is also focused on supporting Black, Indigenous and other under-represented communities. Our framework consists of three streams of giving, totalling more than $19 million in funds raised and donated in fiscal 2022:

$17 million

Strategic partnerships and initiatives (over $10,000)

More than $600,000

Regional donations via Community Action Fund and a streamlined online application process (between $1000-$10,000)

$1.3 million

Local donations from individual stores (typically under $1000)

Key strategic partnerships include our Family of Support Child & Youth Mental Health Initiative. Our inaugural partnership with the Sobey Foundation and Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations was launched in 2020. To date, this initiative has raised more than $9 million to support 15 mental health programs across Canada focused on increasing access to early intervention mental health support for children and families.
In fiscal 2022 we continued to make progress by committing to ensure that 10 per cent of our annual community investment donations go to support Black- and Indigenous-led or informed organizations from now on. Through our Community Action Fund, we continued to step up to support communities in need, including through support for the Canadian Red Cross in response to wildfires and flooding in British Columbia. We also launched the Healthier Tomorrows Individual Giving Program, an all-new voluntary program empowering teammates to donate directly from their paycheques to support their choice of more than 30 charities across Canada.
Looking ahead, we will continue to explore opportunities for new community-investment partnerships and ways to build on our commitment.

Help athletes Donate help athletes


Partnering With Kids Help Phone

We have partnered with Kids Help Phone to support two vital community-based mental health programs created in partnership with Black and Indigenous leaders, connecting youth from these communities with real-time virtual counselling and crisis help. Our five-year, $1.25 million commitment supports Kids Help Phone to deliver RiseUp and Finding Hope. RiseUp, powered by Kids Help Phone in partnership with the BlackNorth Initiative, is Canada’s only 24/7, bilingual e-mental health support for Black youth, which addresses their unique struggles and experiences compounded by anti-Black systemic racism. The RiseUp program, in collaboration with community partners, focuses on supporting the Black community and Afro-diaspora. RiseUp facilitated 24,000 phone and text conversations with Black youth in 2021, with a goal to grow to 60,000 conversations by 2025.
Finding Hope is a national action plan focused on creating capacity for Kids Help Phone to better connect with Indigenous youth—who face some of the most difficult mental health challenges in Canada and significant barriers to accessing services and connection. Finding Hope is led, co-created and governed by an Indigenous Advisory Council, connecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities with Indigenous volunteers and counsellors. Finding Hope’s goal is to connect Indigenous youth to virtual counselling and crisis response programs one million times by 2025.

Kids help Kids help

Nurturing With Giving and Knowledge

In fiscal 2022 our teams from coast to coast continued to step up and support access to healthy and affordable food for people in their communities. Thanks to the generosity of our customers and teammates, our 2021 Holiday Food Bank Fundraiser raised a combined total of $7.2 million in food and funds. Another $4.3 million was raised in our stores across English Canada to support more than 300 food banks—a 14% increase over the previous year. In Quebec, $1.4 million was raised through our stores in support of provincial food networks. In addition to raising funds and sharing food, our teams also foster knowledge about healthy eating and living. For example, teammates at IGA joined with La Tablée des Chefs to empower thousands of young people through schools and community centres for youth. This program is now expanding outside of Quebec. And through our ongoing partnership, Special Olympics Canada launched six new online nutrition sessions.
IGA in Québec is proud to partner with Fondation Charles-Bruneau, raising and donating more than $1.8 million last year to support Project VIE, a collaboration with the CHU Sainte-Justine focused on healthy eating habits for children receiving chemotherapy. Funds were raised through an in-store campaign and two events: The Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau and The Charles-Bruneau Cup, presented by IGA. The Charles-Bruneau Cup’s first edition was a resounding success, raising $750,000.

Giving knowledge Giving knowledge

Continuing Impact Through a Family of Support Initiative

Our partnership between the Sobey Foundation and 13 children’s hospital foundations entered its second year in 2021—and we were proud to share a snapshot of how it supports access to early mental health supports for children and youth Canada-wide in our first partnership impact report. Our year two report will be posted in July 2022. In fiscal 2022, thanks to the involvement of more than 1900 store teams, we raised and donated $5 million (which included a $150,000 corporate contribution) in support of this critical initiative.

Impact support initiative Continue impact


Truly national, instantaneous mental health support is vital to address and support child and youth mental health challenges in critically underserved communities across the country. Thank you to Sobeys Inc. for this tremendous partnership, which will strengthen our programs in areas such as crisis response, community outreach, skill development, response times and more. These improvements will drive meaningful change for Black and Indigenous youth and help shift the child and youth mental health landscape in Canada.”

Katherine Hay, President & CEO, Kids Help Phone

kids help phone
Nurturng health bodies

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We’re also focused on nurturing healthy bodies and minds through our focus on health, safety and wellness and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

As a family nurturing families, we want to ensure Canadians are taken care of today, tomorrow and in the future. By doing OurPart™ for the environment, we hope to inspire our customers to do theirs. Every step we take together—big or small—can make a difference.

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