Meet Natasha Hynes, Regional Coordinator, Western Region, Northern Peninsula & Labrador

Natasha Hynes
Regional Coordinator for Western Region, Northern Peninsula & Labrador

This is Natasha’s second year working with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador (KESFNL) and as the Regional Coordinator for Western, Northern Peninsula & Labrador, Natasha works closely everyday with her 79 Kids Eat Smart (KES) Clubs to ensure that they have the necessary guidance and support needed.  Applying her skills and knowledge of the region she covers, Natasha assists each of her KES Clubs with everything from volunteers, menus, funding, and equipment to ensure they are successful each day.  Natasha takes great pride knowing that she is helping achieve the vision of KESFNL – “That every school aged child in Newfoundland and Labrador attends school well nourished to be ready to learn.”

Natasha holds a diploma in Tourism/Business Management from Keyin Technical College and is always looking for ways to improve her education and experience to apply to her position with KESFNL.  Natasha has a Food Safety Training Certificate from Traincan Campus, and Emergency First Aid/CPR from St. John Ambulance.  Natasha’s many years of experience working in the non-profit and business sectors, along with her regional knowledge, are assets she brings to her role with KESFNL.

When out in her regions, Natasha takes every opportunity to speak with businesses and groups and attend events to promote KESFNL.  Since she began her position with KESFNL, Natasha has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit many KES clubs in action and to help serve breakfast to many children.  Natasha has volunteered with many organizations over the years such as Rotary, festivals, Chambers of Commerce, boards, etc. and she recognizes the importance of supporting and giving back to communities.

Building strong relationships with schools, the volunteers, communities, and many sponsors motivates Natasha to continue to do her part to ensure that children have access to a healthy breakfast each morning at school.  

Natasha loves the great outdoors and takes advantage of every opportunity to be outside.  Whether its snowmobiling, hiking, walking, camping, or boating she enjoys activities that get her out exploring.  She also took up gardening two years ago and loves the fact that she can grow her own food for her family right in her backyard!

If you have questions about the KES Clubs in the Western Region, Northern Peninsula or Labrador, you can connect with Natasha anytime via email at nhynes@kidseatsmart.ca.

www.kidseatsmart.ca

@KidsEatSmartNL

Meet Evelyn Francis, Regional Coordinator – Central Region

Evelyn Francis
Regional Coordinator, Central

As the Regional Coordinator for Central Region, Evelyn works closely with each of her 62 Kids Eat Smart (KES) Clubs to ensure they have the means to provide a nutritious breakfast or snack to all children. Using the knowledge she has gained over her 10 years working with the Foundation, along with her nutrition background, Evelyn assists KES Clubs with funding, menu planning, essential equipment, food safety training, and volunteer supports to make each club a success.  Evelyn is also a proud advocate for her clubs and regularly reaches out to community organizations and businesses to secure both financial and volunteer support.  Evelyn appreciates that each KES Club is unique and enjoys working closely with school communities to ensure all children are well nourished and ready to learn.

Evelyn has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Alberta.  Evelyn has also completed undergraduate nutrition courses at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John’s, NL and Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.  She also has a Food Safety Training Certificate from TrainCan Inc.

Evelyn inspires to make healthy food accessible to all school aged children. Working with KESFNL to ensure school children attend class well nourished and ready to learn is deeply satisfying.

Evelyn loves outdoor activities and spending time with her two teenage sons and husband. She also loves volunteering with her children’s numerous extracurricular activities and the KES club at their school.

If you have questions about KES Clubs in Central Region, you can reach Evelyn at efrancis@kidseatsmart.ca

www.kideatsmart.ca 

@KidsEatSmartNL

Meet Nickie Shanks, Regional Coordinator – Avalon West, Vista and Burin Regions

Nickie Shanks
Regional Coordinator Avalon West, Vista, and Burin Region

Nickie Shanks works closely with 54 schools in the Avalon West, Vista and Burin regions to ensure Kids Eat Smart (KES) Breakfast Clubs are functioning at their best. Nickie assists with menus to offer the healthiest options and offers guidance when clubs are facing challenges. She organizes, promotes, and participates in fundraising initiatives. Nickie also provides support to KES Clubs in their search for volunteers. In addition, Nickie assesses the need for equipment and PPE when required. She develops relationships with all those involved in, and who support KES breakfast clubs. This year will mark 6 years that Nickie has been a Regional Coordinator for the Kids Eat Smart Foundation.  

Before COVID 19, Nickie volunteered at the breakfast clubs at her children’s schools and was also a parent volunteer. Nickie has a Business Management Diploma and a Human Resource Management Diploma and has training in Food Safety. Nickie was an active member of Student Council participating in and assisting with the organization of fundraising events. 

The wonderful stories that Nickie often hears from those involved in breakfast clubs is inspiring. For Nickie, it is motivating to hear how KES clubs are making a difference in schools, and it gives her a sense of pride to talk about some of the amazing work happening across the province. The relationships that she has built with Principals, Coordinators, Volunteers and Donors is the most rewarding part of being a Regional Coordinator. 

Nickie has a very large family. She loves playing music, attending sporting events with her children, sewing/quilting, and interacting with her dog (a husky named Winter). 

If you have questions about KES Clubs in the Avalon West, Vista, and Burin Region, you can reach Nickie at nshanks@kidseatsmart.ca


www.kidseatsmart.ca

@KidsEatSmartNL

 

Meet Lori Warford-Woolgar, Regional Coordinator – Eastern Avalon

Lori Warford-Woolgar, MSc, RD
Regional Coordinator for Eastern Avalon, Registered Dietitian

As the Regional Coordinator for Eastern Avalon, Lori collaborates closely with each of her 67 Kids Eat Smart (KES) Clubs to ensure they have the necessary supports.  From funding to food, equipment to encouragement, Lori takes pride in helping her KES Clubs.

As a Registered Dietitian, Lori ensures all KES Clubs in the province have current, accurate, and reliable nutrition and food safety information.  Lori is a member of the provincial School Food Guidelines Revision Working Group, helping with the overall development of the new School Food Guidelines.  Lori is also a member of Science Writers and Communicators of Canada and enjoys blogging regularly for KES Foundation NL (KESFNL).

This is Lori’s third year working with the KESFNL.  However, her work with the foundation began several years prior when she started and coordinated the KES Club at her children’s school.

Lori has a Bachelor of Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland, a Dietetic Internship Certificate from the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and a Master’s in Human Nutritional Science from the University of Manitoba.  She also has a Technical Writing Certificate from Dalhousie University, a Project Planning Certificate from Northwest Centre for Public Health Practice, University of Washington, and an Advanced Food Safety Training Certificate from TrainCan Inc.  Lori is a member of Food Secure Canada and the Food Security Working Group of NL.  Lori’s professional associations include Dietitians of NL, the NL College of Dietitians, and Dietitians of Canada.

Lori inspires to help people be the healthiest version of themselves through food.  Working with KESFNL to ensure school children grow and learn to their fullest potential is her most rewarding work experience thus far.  Lori continues to volunteer at her children’s KES Club, where she is also School Council Chair.

Lori loves home decorating and has an Interior Decorating Certificate from QC Design School in Ottawa. She also loves honey and dreams of owning her own beehive one day.

If you have questions about KES Clubs in Eastern Avalon, you can reach Lori at lwoolgar@kidseatsmart.ca

www.kideatsmart.ca

@KidsEatSmartNL

Open Letter: We remain dedicated to our children during COVID-19.

Dear Partners, Donors, Volunteers and Families,

As we know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 16 our whole world changed when our schools closed.  We wondered how we would help our children in these uncertain times.  Our initial reaction was to distribute any food in our KES Breakfast Clubs to children and families in need.  Over $100,000 in food was distributed to families throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

We remain dedicated to our children, to their health and their well-being.  We continue to work with our donors to provide food for our children who are in desperate need.  Last week, thanks to a generous donor, we distributed 55 food hampers to families.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality is children and their families need food now.  In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to work with our Government and Food First NL to reach as many families as possible through the COVID-19 Community Food Program Support Fund.  We will also work directly with our donors and partners to ensure food is available to children in need.

Thank you.

We commend the efforts of like-minded organizations, throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, who provide meals and services to our children each day.

Appreciation and best wishes go to our front-line workers in our health care system, our grocery and trucking industries who work tirelessly to ensure we are safe and that we have the essential services and supplies needed to fight this horrible virus.  Our one simple request is that you please take care of yourselves.

We have received many urgent calls and emails from concerned donors, community leaders and our school community about our children and the new reality of the desperate situations many families find themselves in today.  We want to assure you that we are here, we will be here, and we will continue working with our donors and partners to provide food for our children and their families.

Once this is over, and our schools re-open, we will be here to provide nutritious food at school so children start their days well nourished and ready to learn.

 

Sincerely,

Celina Stoyles

Executive Director