School Breakfast Clubs Program set for expansion
The Victorian Government has recently announced an expansion to the School Breakfast Clubs Program, allowing us to provide more food, to more schools.
Since its launch in 2016 in partnership with the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training, the School Breakfast Clubs Program has been delivering 50,000 healthy breakfasts each week to 500 primary schools across the state.
Participating schools have reported a significant improvement in student learning and academic outcomes. However, we know that some students who attend breakfast clubs also come to school without lunch or any food to get them through the school day.
To address the needs of more students outside of breakfast clubs, lunches and school holiday supplies have been added to the menu, as part of the School Breakfast Clubs Expansion Program.
Minister for Education, James Merlino, officially announced the program’s expansion at St Albans North Primary School on the 22nd August 2019, stating:
“More than 8 million breakfasts have already been served to students. Now, having lunches will make it easier for children who may not be able to bring food to school.”
“We know that children can’t learn properly on an empty stomach – that’s why we’re expanding this program to offer lunches to those who need them most,” said James Merlino, Minister for Education.
The Expansion Program will be made available to 1,000 Victorian government primary, secondary, P-12 and specialist schools by the end of 2020.
Natalie Suleyman, Member of Parliament for St Albans, also attended the announcement in support of the expansion, stating that:
“St Albans North Primary School has been a leader for the School Breakfast Clubs Program – improving student’s health and well-being. This expansion will mean even more students are able to focus at school.”
Lunches provided as part of the Expansion Program offer a range of healthy foods to support student learning throughout the day, including lunch bowls, mini milks, fresh apples and fruit cups.
The holiday supply packs contain a variety of existing breakfast products, and have been designed to feed one student breakfast, with a few extra snacks, for two weeks.
In addition, selected schools will have the opportunity to take part in a new meal preparation and nutrition program. Developed in partnership with The Department of Education and Training and Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, this will bring families together in the school environment to learn important life skills around cooking, food safety and food budgeting.
Many School Breakfast Clubs need volunteers to help run their program. Click here to view a map of schools that are currently seeking a helping hand.