HUNDREDS of children across the Goulburn Valley are facing their day without breakfast, and without local schools funding their own breakfast programs this would be the daily struggle for many ‘kids,’ but Shepparton Foodshare has plans to change that.
Having had plans in place for the past three years to provide an ongoing breakfast program in all schools across the Goulburn Valley, Shepparton Foodshare still needs more donations and funding in order to provide a consistent program.
At Wilmot Road Primary School, more than 50 students a week attend their three day breakfast program, but the program is solely funded by the school, meaning less money for other important educational tools.
Wilmot Road Primary School Early Years Family Engagement Worker, Claire Hanning said, “Some of our students don’t have breakfast and it’s the most important meal of the day.
“To have something in their stomachs gives them energy, helps them concentrate and helps them to get the best out of their education every day.
“If the program was fully funded and the food we use for our breakfast program was fully allocated by Foodshare, then that would free up some of the money we use on that for other important things that the school needs.”
Shepparton Foodshare Coordinator, Ron Nicholls said, “We have had plans ‘in the melting pot’ for the past three years to run a consistent breakfast program in all schools across the region and have always thought that that would be what helped Foodshare to survive into the future. Unfortunately, we don’t have the funding or consistent variety of products to run one on a regular basis.
“Foodshare Victoria’s funding fell away from their staple products, so currently we are reliant on supermarkets and other local industries to donate what they can.
“If we had the funding and more product donations the breakfast program would be up and running.
“Foodshare has been promised $13.5M from the Daniel Andrews Government to set up a breakfast program in 500 of Victoria’s more disadvantaged schools and we’re hoping that some of the schools chosen will be from the Goulburn Valley. The only problem with this is that it will take time for the government to implement this and in the meantime, we’d like to get something going locally.”