Students getting a serve for 15 years

WA Governor General Kerry Sanderson with Foodback WA chief executive Greg Hebble at Foodbank’s Belmont warehouse. Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au   d446275
WA Governor General Kerry Sanderson with Foodback WA chief executive Greg Hebble at Foodbank’s Belmont warehouse. Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au d446275

The school decided to try a breakfast program and approached Foodbank WA for a donation of breakfast foods.

Several other schools had also approached Foodbank, reporting they had a growing number of students attending school without having eaten breakfast or eating such a poor breakfast they were hungry in class.

Teachers noted that students missing out on breakfast were more often sick, late or absent compared to others in their class and were unable to concentrate, significantly affecting their ability to learn.

Since then Foodbank has launched what has become the largest School Breakfast Program in Australia.

WA Education Minister Peter Collier launched a commemorative book with stories from 11 participating schools in the program.

�Foodbank fills a gap for thousands of students who are not getting breakfast every day,� Mr Collier said.

�It is essential in terms of nutrition and education.�

�We started with just 17 schools in 2001 and were supporting more than 100 schools within four years,� Foodbank WA executive officer Greg Hebble said.

�Today we have a record 432 schools registered with our program and cover communities right across WA.�

Mr Hebble said it often surprised people that so many children in WA were going to school hungry.

�People find it hard to believe, but we now have more than 18,000 students per week accessing our breakfast clubs.

�The reasons vary, but some of the key drivers include low income, poverty, remoteness and lack of access to nutritious food at home.�

The charity now provides more than 400,000kg of food to schools each year, which estimate put at more than 58,000 serves of breakfast each week.

About 60 per cent of WA schools now run their breakfast club five days a week, with an average attendance of around 62 students per day.