Tips to a Successful School Breakfast for Health program
Foodbank’s School Breakfast 4 Health program can be a very rewarding activity for your school, providing a range of benefits for students, teachers and the school community. As with any program, it requires planning and dedication to make sure your school and students get the most out of the program. Before implementing the School Breakfast 4 Health program, there are three questions to ask your school.
1. Identify the needs of your students
The School Breakfast 4 Health program provides breakfast to students who are arriving to school hungry. While the program provides a range of benefits in addition to filling bellies, Foodbank’s aim is to provide a healthy breakfast to students who would otherwise go without food. We encourage all schools to firstly identify if there is a need for food assistance in the school before implementing the program.
2. Gain the support of the Principal and P&C
Once the need for food assistance is identified and there are clear benefits of providing a health breakfast to the students, we encourage you to reach out to the school Principal and P&C to gain support. In most cases, the school Principal and P&C will whole-heartedly support any effort to improve the lives of their students but it is important to confirm this support before moving forward.
3. Create a sustainable program
After gaining the support of the school community, the final step is to understand the schools capacity to house the food, prepare the meals and serve breakfast to students. Key considerations include;
Shared responsibility between 5 people
We recommend that each school has at least two program coordinators and a minimum of two volunteers for each day the program runs with at least one casual who can fill in when a rostered volunteer is unable to attend. More than one person must be responsible for the program to ensure that when the person is away or leaves the school, students continue to receive breakfast.
Secure food storage
Depending on the size of the program, you may need a dedicated storage area or for smaller programs, a lockable cupboard to store food securely. The storage area needs to be separate from canteen and hospitality class stores so there is no confusion about what product is used for each program.
Safe preparation and cleaning area
We encourage the use of reusable plates and cutlery as it reduces the impact on the environment, the cost to the school, and teaches the students valuable lessons regarding cleaning up after meals. As a minimum, we recommend each school has the following;
- Reusable plates, bowls and cutlery
- Small fridge for storing milk once it has been opened
- Sink and tap with hot water for washing dishes
- Sink for handwashing (not essential but some schools require it in food service areas)
If you would like more information on the School Breakfast 4 Health program or are ready to implement the program in your school, please contact Adam Loftus, School Breakfast 4 Health & Agencies Coordinator via email.