JOHN Forrest Secondary College’s breakfast program has grown from feeding about six students to more than 200 over five years.
Every Wednesday, hungry students are provided with a breakfast menu that includes pikelets, fruit, cheese toasties and Milo.
The program is supported by a $40,000 grant from the City of Bayswater to YouthCARE’s chaplaincy service, which provides support to students at primary and high schools.
During the first school semester of 2016, YouthCARE’s breakfast clubs in the City of Bayswater served 4216 meals to students in four schools.
Chaplain Phil Glossop said many students attended school without eating breakfast.
“I think there are a range of different reasons – some because of a lack of money, they could be rushing to school, poor discipline of not having breakfast and leaving it until later,” he said.
“But I think it is important that people do have breakfast because we know that it helps them through the day and helps with concentration.”
Mayor Barry McKenna said one in seven Australian children arrived at school without having breakfast.
“When kids are hungry, it takes a toll on energy levels and the ability of children to concentrate in the classroom really suffers,” he said.
“There is a lot of financial pressure on battling families at the moment, with budgets cut to the bone.
“Add in the fact we all lead increasingly chaotic lives and the need for services such as the breakfast clubs become increasingly evident.”