The Cereal Box Challenge
Supporting Breakfast and/or Snack programs for students
It was November of 2003 that I first became involved in the Cereal Box Challenge. It was an initiative created by my daughter Alyssa to benefit other students at other schools. Benson & Brock’s Breakfast programs were the first recipients of the cereal boxes collected by Oakwood students and staff. During those first few years the Cereal Box Challenge was only held at Oakwood and would benefit west-end schools only. It then began to grow beyond Oakwood when one of the Oakwood teachers began teaching at Talbot Trail in 2006.
Quietly, behind the scenes I would provide the yard waste bags used for collecting the boxes of cereal, supply the poster & the collection chart to the participating schools and arrange for the pick-up and delivery of all of the cereal to the recipient schools. In the beginning, the cereal was delivered by myself and one of the teachers then for the next couple of years the cereal was picked up and delivered by myself and my neighbor (retired teacher) with my neighbour’s van. In 2006 I was elected as a Trustee for the GECDSB and there were now more schools in South Windsor area wanting to hold Cereal Box Challenges to benefit our numerous Breakfast Programs. As the Challenges grew in number I was able to get additional community partners to assist me with pick-up and delivery such as 3Aces Cartage and the Optimist Club members. There were also a few pizza restaurants that were willing to step-up and donate pizza to the winning classes such as Koolini’s, Naples & Gino’s. Since Its creation in 2003 many of the South Windsor schools have held Cereal Challenges including Oakwood, Talbot Trail, Glenwood, Northwood, Central, Bellewood and Massey.
Over the past 19 years the Cereal Box Challenges have donated thousands of boxes of cereal to over 24 different schools in our community to support their breakfast and/or snack programs for students. The generosity of our students & staff in collecting and donating these thousands of boxes of cereal every year is incredible. I also truly appreciate the extra efforts of the teachers that have over the years worked with me and co-ordinated the Cereal Box Challenge(s) at their schools, without them this would be much more difficult. Being a part of this outreach is for me a Labour or Love!
This year's Cereal Box Challenge will be it's 20th!