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Meet our Outstanding Canadians: Sutton Garner

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In 2015, at the young age of 11 years old, Sutton Garner learned thousands of kids in Calgary who count on school nutrition programs during the school year don't have the same access to a free meal during the summer. As a result, kids can potentially be starving their bodies and minds of necessary nutrition, compromising their physical, emotional, and social development, and delay their academic performance. Sutton jumped into action and with the help of her mother, she founded I Can for Kids Foundation. With her passion, energy, and commitment to helping kids, I Can for Kids has quickly become an essential service in Calgary to help children and youth get the nutrition they need to learn, play, and grow over the summer, and have a healthy start to their school year. In 2016, Sutton and her team delivered 30,000 meals to hungry kids across the city, over triple from the previous year.

In addition to her work with I Can for Kids, Sutton dedicates time to supporting her school through leadership and ambassador programs, and is often planning fundraising activities for local and international causes important to her friends and fellow students. Sutton gets a great sense of satisfaction from speaking to student bodies about the effects of hunger and is very effective at rallying folks of every age to support the cause. 

"For many kids in Calgary, going hungry is a way of life, but it shouldn't define their future," says Sutton. "It's only when we understand it's the situation they're in that's holding them back, not who they are, can we start to make a meaningful difference. I’m excited to receive the Shaw Canada 150 award and I accept it on behalf of thousands of kids across the country who give back to their communities every day - they are my heroes and I share this honour with them.”