South Burnett chappy talks school breakfasts.

The South Burnett Pantry is now pressing on in its sixth year with no letup in demand for food aid in the South Burnett. Every Friday the Pantry serves over 100 customers with generous hampers, brunch, and drinks.

They are also fortunate enough to have a great band of volunteers working hard to welcome and support the community not only on Fridays, when they’re open but also through the week behind the scenes receiving supplies from Foodbank and other outlets, stacking shelves, preparing stock and keeping everything ship shape. This year the Pantry will continue to support eleven schools across the South Burnett with their breakfast programs thanks to some extremely dedicated chaplains.

Jordon Bennett Chaplain for Taabinga State School, Cherbourg State School, Murgon State School, Goomeri State School had this to say about the benefits of the program for students coming to school without breakfast.

“Those of us who proudly wear the title of “Chappy” spend a significant amount of our time feeding students providing them with the best possible start to their day. In fact, school chaplains facilitate almost 400 breakfast programs in over 800 schools every week. This is a significant amount of food being distributed to thousands of students every week.”

“The Pantry collects breakfast supplies for 11 schools in our region every week, and I personally oversee the distribution of 60% of this allocation to small schools in remote areas such as Proston, Goomeri, and Cherbourg. In addition to the breakfast program, the South Burnett Pantry is always ready and willing to help the school communities with additional supplies and emergency hampers.”

“There have been many times where I, and fellow chaplains, have had to call on the Pantry to help support a family between pays, over long weekends, and in crisis situations. At a guess, the Pantry has provided some 50 emergency hampers to school families in the last 2 years, with even more supplies being donated to school breakfast and lunch programs to provide a larger and healthier meal to the students. Many of these families rely heavily on the breakfast program as their only option to providing for their kids, and I and my fellow chaplains proudly fill that need with the goods supplied by Foodbank through the Pantry.”

In a week, Jordan’s chaplaincy service provides food, on average, for over 500 students in 4 different schools. This would not be possible without the support of agencies like the South Burnett Pantry putting in the hard yards to collect the allocation from Foodbank Queensland warehouse in Morningside every week. Garnering support in a very low socio-economic area is difficult, and the breakfast program survives purely through the efforts of these two fantastic organizations.