Who We Are
We are Canada’s leading foundation, exclusively dedicated to enhancing food literacy.
We partner with reputable organizations and join coalitions in support of evidence based research living laboratories, knowledge acceleration and advocacy for food literacy.
Established in 1992, we are a philanthropic foundation, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A society of better informed younger children and their families, consuming healthier foods and beverages.
To be the champion, connector and supporter of food literacy knowledge, policy advancements and practice for collective impact.
Partners and Coalitions
Partnership Agreement with George Brown College.
a. Within its Centre of Hospitality and Culinary Arts to advance nutrition.
b. Through the resources of the Food Innovation and Research Centre (FIRSt).
c. Ambition Nutrition Symposiums.
Partnership Agreement with the Ontario Public Health Association and its Nutrition Resource Centre (NRC).
a. To increase capacity.
b. To influence nutrition policy and practice.
c. To become the most valuable nutrition and food literacy resource for professionals.
The Foundation works with established professional organizations.
a. Primarily through research, knowledge development and exchange, leading to policy initiatives.
b. Secondarily through living laboratories, turning data into actionable resources.
The Foundation supports coalitions assembled to advance nutrition and other food policies.
a. Health Canada’s new Healthy Eating Strategies.
b. Ontario’s Food and Nutrition Strategy- Food Literacy and Skills.
c. Stop Marketing to Kids and the Ottawa Principles.
d. The case for a National Food Council.
Our primary area of focus is young children, their parents and caregivers. Studies indicate that with successful intervention there is an 85% chance of sustaining a healthy eating practice for life. How do we do this? By creating a central, single source of truth for food literacy research, data and dissemination. By encouraging our policy makers to re engage in preventative health literacy measures. By developing programs and tools, by encouraging holistic hands-on learning opportunities, in a positive and fun manner. By keeping things simple.
Key Messages From Our Community
Rule- bound negative framing of nutrition must give way.
Healthy eating practices should be joyful, celebratory and fun.
Improve the food environment, make the healthy choice the easiest choice.
People don’t necessarily need more nutrition information. They often need cooking skills and an understanding of food culture.
Take a holistic approach, inspire children in their areas of interest.
Introduce children to variety of foods at a young age.
Food choices and practices have an impact on our environment.
Encourage educators to bring nutrition into their curriculum as a teaching tool.
Hands on food literacy and cooking workshops change eating behaviours most effectively.
Stakeholders are attracted to the Foundation for its ability to:
Facilitate and collaborate
Access projects viability
Work effectively and efficiently
Provide knowledge and financial resources
Adhere to good governance practices
The Helderleigh Foundation is:
More than just a donor, Helderleigh interacts with its partners, exchanges knowledge and ideas, provides introductions and encourages exchanges with the larger community of parties working in the field of nutrition literacy.
In partnership with organizations that have the capacity and capability to disseminate nationally.
Located in Toronto and primarily works with partners based in the Province of Ontario with the ambition to serve a national audience.
Board of Directors
Russell de Souza
Why did you want to become a board member?
"After spending a lifetime in the packaged goods food business and owning a farm operation, I came to realize that the foods we produce and the manner in which they are marketed and consumed has a big impact on our individual health. However, healthy eating is more than an individual choice. It is also influenced by the environments in which we live.
As a society we have not paid enough attention. Poor nutrition has become the leading cause of poor health, surpassing tobacco as the number one health risk. There is an urgent need for preventive action, and the starting point is with our children. Through the work of our Foundation, we bring professionals together, turning research findings into action, and then advocating for change. We help make the healthy choice the easiest choice for children and their families. Contributing our small part is very satisfying."
The Foundation operates through volunteers and contract services.