John Forrest filling hungry bellies with school breakfast club

YouthCARE chaplain Philip Glossop with Farah Al-Robaiei, James Capp, Simone Cronje and Chloe Smith. |Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au   d438769
YouthCARE chaplain Philip Glossop with Farah Al-Robaiei, James Capp, Simone Cronje and Chloe Smith. |Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d438769

JOHN Forrest Secondary College is trying to help balance shocking figures that have revealed three children per classroom around Australia are not having breakfast.

The figures in the report recently released by Foodbank Australia also showed two thirds of Australian teachers (67 per cent) saw children come to school without having had breakfast.

The teachers also estimated that more than two hours a day of learning time were lost when students came to class hungry.

John Forrest YouthCARE chaplain Philip Glossop and his team of eight volunteers have been trying to fill empty bellies for five years with the school breakfast club.

Mr Glossop said that after about six months, he tweaked the format of the club to open it up to all students.

“Originally it was a handful of students in a classroom who had not had breakfast, so we moved it to the quadrangle and opened it up to all students because we didn’t want a handful of students to be embarrassed about not having eaten in the morning,” he said.

“We have seen more people coming to breakfast club throughout the years.”

Mr Glossop said about 150 students were served at the club held weekly.

He said there were a variety of reasons that students came to school without having the most important meal of the day.

“Sometimes the family does not have enough money, but for others they are just in a rush in the mornings,” Mr Glossop said.

“I put a notice out in our school newsletter how important breakfast is so I hope the message gets through to the students and parents.”

John Forrest Secondary College principal Judy Silsbury said the social aspect of the club was as important as the meal.

At Balga Senior High School, YouthCARE chaplain Ali Dee serves up to 500 students a week at the daily club.