8 March 2022
Hundreds of thousands of Victorian students are now starting the school day with full stomachs, clearer minds and better moods, with the Andrews Labor Government’s School Breakfast Clubs program celebrating 20 million meals served.
Member for Narre Warren South Gary Maas MP, today celebrated the program’s huge milestone in schools across Victoria - including over 246,000 meals served across our local schools of Coral Park Primary School, River Gum Primary School, Hillsmeade Primary School, Hampton Park Primary School, Kilberry Valley Primary School, Hampton Park Secondary College and Narre Warren South P-12 College.
The School Breakfast Clubs program, which began in 2016, is part of the State Government’s $58 million investment – delivered in partnership with Foodbank Victoria – to provide free, healthy food for students at 1,000 government schools.
Feedback from schools has shown the program has had benefits beyond making students happier and healthier – it has led to greater social outcomes for students and the school community, improved student engagement and concentration, strengthened staff-student relationships, enhanced social skills and better academic performance.
Since being established, the program has not only delivered more than 20 million nutritious meals but has continued supporting students with access to healthy food despite periods of remote learning during the pandemic.
Smaller breakfast clubs were run at schools for students who were permitted to learn onsite, as well as ‘grab and go’ meal options for students to take home, food provided for families to collect from school sites to keep kids fed at home, and supplies were even delivered to the homes of vulnerable students.
In addition to delivering healthy breakfasts to students in 1,000 primary, secondary and specialist schools, the program provides nutritious lunches and holiday food supplies to students in need and delivers cooking classes for families to around 100 schools across the state.
School Holiday Supply packs are also available for schools to order over the summer school holiday period for families who need support.
Nearly 40,000 packs have been distributed since the program began, with the 14-day food packs expanded last year to include lunch items in addition to healthy breakfasts and snacks.
Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino:
“Kids just can't learn well on an empty stomach – and this program has made such a difference in the lives of many thousands of students who need a bit of extra support to have a nutritious, delicious meal every morning.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Narre Warren South Gary Maas MP:
“The School Breakfast Clubs program is able to help struggling families by stepping in and making sure kids are fed and ready to learn.”
“Thank you to Foodbank and all our local schools and staff who have been supporting this program so that thousands of kids can get the necessary nutritious meals they need in order to learn and succeed in school.”
“It was a pleasure to previously visit River Gum Primary School for their School Breakfast Clubs cooking class. The joy on the kids’ and adults’ faces was infectious as they learnt about healthy food and happily took part in hands-on cooking.”