Foodbank brekky program passes 2 million serves

More than two million breakfasts have now been served to schoolchildren in NSW as part of Foodbank’s Breakfast 4 Health program.

Adults serving breakfast to students. Adults serving breakfast to students.
Image: Education Minister Prue Car and Premier Chris Minns serving breakfast for students at East Hills Public School.

More than two million breakfasts have now been served to schoolchildren in NSW, as part of Foodbank’s Breakfast 4 Health program which the NSW Government is committed to expanding.

The number of public schools participating in the program is set to double from 500 to 1,000 over the next four years as the government delivers its $8 million funding promise.

Since the March election, another 17 public schools have started serving breakfasts with the program. An additional 100 schools have applied and are being assessed.

Schools interested in participating in the program can apply directly to Foodbank via its website, and are assessed according to need.

The School Breakfast 4 Health program has been shown to improve students’ nutrition and eating habits, their mental and physical health, as well as learning, concentration and school attendance.

The program runs in schools across NSW, including rural and regional areas, and is one way the government is helping to ease cost of living pressure on families and ensure all children can have a healthy start to their day.

Foodbank data indicates 80% of schools in the program reported an increase in attendance and 89% saw an increase in class engagement on days the program was run.

Premier Chris Minns and Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning, Prue Car, celebrated the milestone on Wednesday with a visit to East Hills Public School, an early adopter of the program in south-west Sydney.

East Hills Public School Principal Donna Casey said up to 80% of students at the school participate in the popular breakfast program.

The school’s Eatery was recently refurbished and has reopened this week to serve up healthy breakfasts before classes start.

Premier Chris Minns said:

“Making sure children are getting the most out of their time at school is my number one priority. This starts by ensuring that they are not hungry in the classroom.

“I have always said that as Premier I want to address the cost of living crisis and this is an important step to not only help families but also give our students the best start to every school day.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said:

“This program is such an effective way to make sure children can have a fresh and healthy meal before they sit down to learn.

“It’s an investment in our children’s education that’s also helping families with cost-of-living pressures, making sure all students are set up for a great day at school.”

East Hills Public School principal Donna Casey said:

“We have noticed an increase in student focus, engagement and emotional regulation throughout the day after the healthy breakfast.

“It’s also another way families can get involved in our school. Parents and younger siblings often join the students for breakfast, which is lovely to see.”

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