Erasing the Stigma Around Breakfast Clubs

Prior to the launch of our 2017 Toonies for Tummies campaign, one of our influencers, Melanie from MBA MamaMusings, had a chance to talk with Nicola Lyle, Regional Manager for the Central East Student Nutrition Program. Nicola had a number of interesting things to share about The Grocery Foundation and the #Toonies4Tummies program.

Here are the highlights of their discussion:

  • Children participate in the school nutrition programs based entirely on want, never based on a perceived ‘need’ – any child who wishes to access a program, may – no questions asked.
  • Depending on the facilities at the school, snacks and/or meals may be served. What’s the difference? A snack has two food groups, a meal has three.
  • Food insecurity is not the only reason for participation in the program. The reasons are incredibly diverse. Everything from early morning sports practice, late pick up from after school care, lengthy rural bus routes, growth spurts, forgetting to bring lunch, or simply really liking what is being offered that day are all reasons children access school nutrition programs.
  • The only money that can be used for administrative costs must come from the 15% of the budget the government provides. 100% of all funds raised through donation go 100% to food for the kids.
  • Volunteers are the key to carrying out the program in every area; without them, them, there is no way the program could survive.
  • Because each program is led locally, they are better able to adapt to regional needs such as religious and cultural dietary restrictions, or even seasonal need.
  • The programs are able to work directly with local farmers – a win/win situation for everybody. Those weird looking apples and two-legged carrots are gladly welcomed into the kitchens of the Student Nutrition Program, reducing food waste and giving the kids fresh food to eat.

A School Breakfast Program Profile:

You can read Melanie's full article here.