There’s evidence that when school students eat a nutritious breakfast it improves concentration, attention span and attendance figures.
Unfortunately, many children in our community go to school hungry, with some families unable to provide a healthy breakfast every day.
For the up to 100 students who attend Gladstone State High School’s breakfast club daily, an announcement this morning by State Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher assures the provision of a healthy breakfast at school for another four years.
Student Support coordinator Brett Muggeridge initiated State High’s School Breakfast Program, reaching out to Foodbank in April because of simple demand:
“I noticed, and a lot of teachers noticed, that kids were coming to school without breakfast,” he said.
“Some of them may not have eaten the night before either. Staff would be giving these kids food here and there – make them a bit of toast in the staff room or whatever – we were noticing that happening more and more often.”
The $260,000 annual funding state-wide to Foodbank’s School Breakfast Program, over four years, will enable Mr Muggeridge, Ms McDonald the head of the hospitality studies department at GSHS and volunteers from Hands of Compassion to continue to serve up toast, spreads, fresh fruit, cereal and milk to kids who need it, five days a week.
“The kids have got different challenges on different weeks, we don’t ask why there here, it’s open to everyone who attends the school,” Brett said.
As well as supporting their students and improving school results, Mr Muggeridge says the breakfasts are fun and positive for the atmosphere at the school:
“It’s very social. We all help with the clean-up at the end, and it’s great when you see Senior students coming in and having a chat with the year Sevens.
“There’s a bit of banter back and forth, it’s a nice atmosphere. It’s lovely.”
The School Breakfast Program is supported locally by Muffin Break and Brumby’s at the Valley Shopping Centre with food loads delivered on behalf of the program by Followmount Transport.