Written by: Emmy Tran, Chloe Starra, Shana Bernstein, and Abigail Amstutz
During the month of August, ApplyBoard’s summer term Co-Op students were given the opportunity to lead a fundraising initiative for ApplyCare. ApplyCare is an employee-led committee that raises money and awareness for local organizations, and encourages staff to give back to their local community. Each term, ApplyBoard Co-Op students take the lead on planning an initiative on behalf of this committee, with previous projects including a fundraiser for I Love First Peoples, and a backpack supplies drive in support of Reception House.
For this project, we chose to support Nutrition for Learning, a local charity that provides food and snacks to students across Waterloo Region. Nutrition for Learning’s mission is to support students’ overall well-being and their ability to learn by ensuring that every student attends school well-nourished. We chose to support this organization because it aligns closely with one of ApplyBoard’s core values: “Helping students achieve success.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic first shut down schools, many students relying on in-school nutrition programs were left without options. Nutrition for Learning responded to this need in the community by setting up pop-up food pick-up stations at schools across the region, ensuring that students were still able to receive healthy snacks while schools were closed.
To support Nutrition for Learning and the programs they offer local students, we planned a campaign to promote awareness of the cause and raise money across the organization. We named this campaign ApplySnaccAtacc, and hosted four food-themed events for staff to participate in.
Nutrition for Learning Lunch and Learn
To launch this campaign, we hosted a Lunch and Learn featuring Brian Banks, a representative from Nutrition for Learning. Brian introduced our team to the work that Nutrition for Learning is doing in the community, shared some inspiring stories on the impact of their programs, and talked about how we can get involved as volunteers. This informational session was important to set the stage for the fundraising campaign and events that we would be hosting throughout the rest of the month.
Family Feud Challenge
Next, the ApplySnaccAttacc planning committee hosted a Family Feud challenge. We wanted to know how our ApplyFam likes to snack and challenged them to think back on how they used to eat (and play!) with food as a kid.
Over the course of a week, staff were sent emails with links to three simple food-related questions to answer. Questions included everything from “What’s your favourite guilty pleasure food?” to “What’s a food that can be molded into a shape?” and “What is a type of food that people may prefer to eat burnt?”
At the end of the week, a final challenge was sent out, a poll compiling all of the best questions and answers. Participants then had the opportunity to guess the top answers for each question, with the winner walking away with a $25 Amazon gift card. There was a great turnout and a lot of excitement for the event, and we had a lot of fun building and running it!
Minute to Win It
For the main fundraising initiative, we hosted a Minute to Win It event, inspired by the hit NBC game show. All team members who made a donation to Nutrition for Learning were able to participate in this event, which consisted of five silly, one-minute competitive challenges completed as a team:
- Cookie Monster: Participants had to put a cookie on their forehead, and shimmy it into their mouth without using their hands.
- Card Tower: With a deck of cards, participants had to build the tallest tower possible.
- Water Bottle Flip: Participants had to flip a water bottle onto its base as many times as possible.
- Paper Plate Artist: With a paper plate on top of their heads, participants had to recreate a drawing as accurately as possible.
- Noodling Around: With a strand of uncooked spaghetti in their mouth, participants needed to pick up as many pieces of penne pasta as they could.
After an intense competition, the event ended in a three-team tie. In order to crown a winner, the teams were invited to compete in a final challenge in one of our biweekly all-staff meetings—with the rest of the team cheering them on!
To complete the campaign, we hosted an Instagram contest, inviting all staff to record a video of themselves preparing their favourite snacks. All of the submissions were shared on our @ApplyBoardLife Instagram Stories, allowing our followers to vote for their favourite video. It was a delicious way to wrap up a successful campaign and help raise awareness for Nutrition for Learning with our followers!
ApplySnaccAttacc was an incredible team effort from all the co-op students. After hours of meeting, planning, and organizing, we were incredibly proud to execute these amazing events and see the ApplyFam come together to raise over $2,000 in support of this important cause.
If you’d like to make a donation to Nutrition for Learning, please visit their website.