Why a School's Breakfast Program?
>> The Need
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet one in six Queensland kids are skipping breakfast" – ABS, 2013
Without breakfast… In the short term, students don’t pay attention and don’t learn during class. In the long term, students don’t reach their academic potential and risk poor employment outcomes. Children who skip breakfast have lower nutrient intakes and are also likely to have an unhealthy BMI and be at risk of obesity.
"Breakfast breaks the overnight fast, kick-starts the body’s metabolism and replenishes blood glucose stores" - Better Health Channel, 2013
“All too often students come to school very hungry. Some students come from a very dysfunctional background. At times there may be no food at home and consequently they are unable to concentrate in class.” – Participating School
>> How We Know It Is Working
Testimonies and surveys from participating schools demonstrate that the YMCA Schools’ Breakfast Program does make a difference in improving student’s academic performance, behaviour, health, social and emotional wellbeing.
>> The Program
As the social impact activity of the YMCA, Y-Care (South East Qld) Inc. with the support of Foodbank Queensland and the Clem Jones Group, commenced the YMCA Schools’ Breakfast Program in September 2006. The program started within five state schools in the heart of Logan, deemed by Education Queensland as ‘most in need’ of a breakfast program.
Today the breakfast program supports over 89 schools across the greater Logan, Brisbane South, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Beaudesert and Inala areas, providing over 50,000 free breakfast meals each month as part of the YMCA’s commitment to the community.
“So many of our students come to school without breakfast and without lunch. Nutrition is so important for healthy brain function. It also provides the opportunity to see community in action through the volunteers who help run the program”.
- School Principal
“It is very important to me that my students have access to food. Many of the young people I have taught over the years don't have access to things the rest of society takes for granted - like food. The Breakfast Program provided by YMCA allows more people in need to have access to resources that begin to level the playing field when it comes to education”.
- School Teacher
“I've watched some of our at risk kids taking advantage of the program and seeing how much this impacts them makes me feel supported as the chaplain. I feel the community is behind me by providing this service through creating a sense of "we are all in this together".
- School Chaplain