SUDBURY -- Fresh and delicious cookies with a smile will be greeting customers at Tim Hortons this week as the annual fundraising campaign got baking Monday morning.

"There is always someone that needs a smile and if you already have a smile, then you can always have another one," said Marion MacKenzie a Tim Hortons store owner in Sudbury. "It's buy one for yourself, give one away. It's a nice friendly happy way to support your community."

The money raised by the $1 cookie campaign will help four local charities in Sudbury this year, including Health Sciences North.

"These funds are eventually used to help us purchase high-priority equipment needs for our community," said Anthony Keating the president of HSN Foundations. "So right now we are raising money for purchasing new MRIs, we are investing in simulation learning, with all of our learners at the hospital."

Helping feed people

Smile cookies will also help feed people who use the Sudbury Food Bank.

"A lot of things have been cancelled this year, so to have an icon like the Smile Cookie to continue to run, it's just so excellent," said Dan Xilon, executive director of the Sudbury Food Bank. "I mean, the logistics of the stores to make this happen to sell thousands and thousands of cookies to help to help us local charities just absolutely flabbergasts my mind."

Money raised by smile cookies sold in Sudbury will also support the Maison McCulloch Hospice.

Outside of Sudbury, Smile cookies will support the Nipissing Serenity Hospice in North Bay, the Algoma Residential Community Hospice, the Twinkie Foundation in Sault Ste. Marie, and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program known as D.A.R.E in Timmins.

Since the 1980s, Smile cookies have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the CTV Lions Children's Christmas Telethon.

"We depend quite heavily on it to support our expenses to do the telethon, the live telethon," said Sam Khoury, chair of the CTV Lions Children's Christmas Telethon. "And this year, the telethon is live (and) will be held almost completely at the All Nations Church on St. Raphael Street."

Charities receiving support from Smile cookies say fundraising in 2020 has it challenges because of COIVD-19, and they hope people will buy a smile to give a smile.