Students at 500 state primary schools marked a healthy milestone at the end of June – 5 million breakfasts served since the School Breakfast Club program commenced in 2016.
The Victorian Government funded program, delivered in partnership with Foodbank Victoria, is helping kids get a healthy start to their school day.
Each term, Foodbank delivers the healthy breakfast menu of Victorian-manufactured oats, Vita Brits, wholegrain Cheerios, muesli, UHT milk, baked beans, fresh apples, canned fruit, and fruit cups. From next term, schools will also receive honey and Vegemite.
Minister for Education James Merlino said School Breakfast Clubs were a simple way to support learning.
“We know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially in setting up students to concentrate, learn and be at their best while at school,” he said.
“One in seven children arrive at school with an empty stomach and our School Breakfast Clubs mean these students no longer go hungry and can now get the most out of their education.”
The program is serving up 50,000 breakfasts every week. Independent research shows 81 per cent of schools report improved student concentration as a result of attending Breakfast Club; 76 per cent report improved social relationships; 72 per cent report improved engagement in classroom activities; and 70 per cent report improved behaviour.
Foodbank Victoria CEO Dave McNamara said School Breakfast Clubs were also providing a great informal learning environment for students.
“Students are developing leadership skills. They’re developing confidence and expanding their social skills by interacting with volunteers – who are positive role models – as well as older and younger students. They’re learning valuable life skills,” he said.
Many schools need additional volunteers to help run their Breakfast Clubs – view map at bottom of page here. All volunteers require a Working With Children Check.
The delivery of the $13.7 million program (over four years) is an example of how the Victorian Government is tackling disadvantage so all children can reach their potential, regardless of their background or circumstances.
The 500 schools participating in the program have been identified by Student Family Occupation Education (SFOE) data that is considered to be the most accurate measure of disadvantage.