Fondation OLO broadens its action to help young families - Launch of 1000 Days to Savour Life, a major initiative for thousands of infants and toddlers

MONTREAL, Oct. 28, 2014 - Fondation OLO is pleased to announce the official launch of 1000 Days to Savour Life, an initiative that will help thousands of young Quebec families living in difficult financial situations to adopt healthy eating habits during pregnancy and for the first two years of their child's life (270 days + 365 days + 365 days = 1000 days).

For over two decades, Fondation OLO has distributed eggs, milk, orange juice, and vitamin and mineral supplements through health-network practitioners to pregnant women in need. The Fondation now plans to expand its activities to provide support after pregnancy.

In Quebec, it is estimated that one child in five is born into a family living below the poverty line. This amounts to a vast number of parents living in a context of food insecurity and facing significant challenges in teaching their children eating habits that nurture their development. In response, specialists from various domains collaborated to develop the 1000 Days to Savour Life approach to support the learning and adoption of three eating behaviours - eating well, cooking and eating together as a family - considered to be particularly important for the health, social and economic development of children.

"1000 Days to Savour Life was designed to meet the needs of children and parents, as well as to fulfill the desire of healthcare practitioners to go a step further to help families," said Élise Boyer, Executive Director of Fondation OLO. "Our initiative is the concrete result of the Fondation's heightened efforts to assist infants and toddlers, and will make it possible to devote more energy to eating habits through strategies and resources that fit the reality of families who benefit from the OLO program."

Several tools adapted to the target clientele, such as illustrated recipes, and shopping and meal-planning tools have been developed, and will be integrated into the personalized assistance offered by OLO perinatal care practitioners. In addition, books for babies designed to help parents during this crucial period will soon be developed.

In great part, 1000 Days to Savour Life is made possible through the financial support and vision of Avenir d'enfants and Québec en Forme, who were drawn from the outset by the goals of the Fondation OLO initiative and decided to join in to support the project.

"By focusing on the joy of eating well, 1000 Days to Savour Life will offer parents means to foster the development of their child from the earliest stage of pregnancy. Healthy eating habits begin at a very young age. Of course, it's more fun when they are learned at home. Avenir d'enfants is excited to be involved in the project launched by Fondation OLO," said Marie-Claire Rouleau, General Director of Avenir d'enfants.

"We believe that stimulation, discovery and familiarization are the foundations for building healthy habits. These factors, reinforced during the period 0-2 years, help support infants and toddlers in developing their food habits as they grow, and contribute to their optimal development. We are very pleased to contribute to the success of this project," added Julie Dostaler, Executive Director of Québec en Forme.

To learn more about the 1000 Days to Savour Life initiative, visit:

About Fondation OLO

Fondation OLO is supported by close to 150 OLO perinatal practitioners at 143 service points. The organization helps give all children an equal opportunity for a good start in life by providing a free and daily supply of eggs, milk, orange juice, and vitamin and mineral supplements to pregnant women living in difficult financial situations. With 1000 Days to Savour Life, Fondation OLO, in collaboration with its health-network partners, is widening the scope of its mission to support low-income families during pregnancy and the first two years of their child's life. Each year in Quebec, more than 17,000 women, or one in five, live out their pregnancy in poverty, which puts them at greater risk of a premature delivery or to give birth to an underweight baby. Since it was founded in 1991, Fondation OLO and Quebec CSSSs have helped tens of thousands of mothers-to-be give birth to a healthy baby.

About Avenir d'enfants

Avenir d'enfants is a non-profit organization that was born of a partnership between the Quebec government and the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation. It oversees and distributes the contributions of these two partners to promote the overall development of children aged five and under living in poverty. Avenir d'enfants works to give all children a good start in life and opportunity to succeed in school by providing financial support and guidance to communities and transferring its knowledge to project promoters.

About Québec en Forme

Québec en Forme, created through a partnership between the Québec government and the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, guides and supports engaged communities and organizations across Québec that promote projects to establish all the conditions needed to make it fun and easy for young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to become more active and make healthier eating choices every day.

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Fondation OLO

For further information:
Mélodie Ménard
Morin Public Relations
514-289-8688, ext. 239
Cell.: 514-561-1966

We believe

"We believe" is a short video that uses images to illustrate our constantly renewed desire to prevent poverty for the good of future generations in Quebec.