Every day is a chance to learn something new, but children might not be set up to learn if they haven’t had a proper breakfast.
One of the three most important meals of the day is missed too often in Nanaimo and elsewhere, and there are a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s because of poverty – healthy food rarely comes cheap – and sometimes breakfast just gets overlooked on hectic mornings in busy lives.
The Breakfast Club of Canada has been taking a close look again this fall at its 10 partner programs in Nanaimo, and has been working with fundraising partners this month. Costco had a donation drive earlier in September, and now there’s one at Walmart that continues until Oct. 4, with every dollar going toward “healthy and hearty” breakfasts for kids, the Breakfast Club of Canada says.
“That ensures that every student at the school has the ability to start their day on an equal foot and really make sure that they’re able to focus on what matters most – their studies and connecting with friends and their teachers and not focusing on their hunger,” said Danelle Kvalheim, the Breakfast Club’s B.C. coordinator.
She told the News Bulletin that children who have had breakfast tend to focus better, don’t fight with their peers as often, and don’t miss as many days of school.
“So there’s so many reasons that it makes sense to have a program like this,” she said. “And it really fosters community in schools [and] connections with their principals and staff in a way that’s different than just the education aspect.”
She said the need is growing – every time the Breakfast Club publicizes its campaign, it finds that more and more schools hear about it and say they want to be a part of it, so the waitlist keeps expanding.
Kvalheim said the Breakfast Club does a lot of work connecting with local groups and identifying ways to help.
“We provide funding and equipment and we have a nutrition team that kind of helps and works with the schools to look at what’s being served and how we can improve it and make it more nutritious,” she said. “And so we take a really holistic approach and really help the schools and meet the schools where they’re at and make the best possible breakfast and situation for the students.”
For more information or to donate directly to the Breakfast Club, visit www.breakfastclubcanada.org.