For the past 15 years Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School has operated a Breakfast Program to meet the nutritional needs of its students. We have been funded primarily by Ontario Student Nutrition Program - Investing in Children, and the May Court Club of London, with other sponsors along the way. We are staffed by teachers and students, but have had community member volunteers in the past. This program has recently been extended to offer a greater range of nutritional items to more students during the day, as many of the students in greatest need often arrive close to the bell at the start of the day and do not have a chance to visit the Breakfast room.
Our program not only meets the needs of students who did not have breakfast that day, or who need a boost after an early morning practice, but also integrates other programs in the school. Our Developmental Education Program has been grocery shopping for the program for the past several years, and makes sandwiches, muffins, and snack packs that supply students with lunches as needed. This meets the requirements of their program, creates more interactions with students in the mainstream, and increases their involvement in the school community. These students say "they love making deliveries and saying hi to students in Student Success Room”, they “like the challenge of making sandwiches and snacks”, and that “working together as a class is fun”. Having many different groups utilize and staff the program in various ways reduces any stigma that may be attached to insufficient access to nutritious food.
Additionally, many students use the program that is associated with the Student Success Room, an extension of the Breakfast Room operated before school. The availability of food can create a way for a student to access this resource, find a comfortable place to spend the lunch period, and encourage them to use this resource to complete work and seek extra help. The students who have used this resource state, “It really helps because I had no food at home because I live on my own…I would probably be sick without this program”, “having food on days when I don’t have enough has helped me to concentrate on my work”, and “it shows us how much the staff supports students and people in general”.
We have received donations, both food items and monetary, from parents who know that their child uses the program after morning band or sports practice, we have staff who regularly make muffins for the groups, and staff who also donate any food from events that occur in the school. The program has the support of the staff and administration, and staff volunteer their time to help operate the room, shop as needed, and track the finances. Continued funding of this program is an integral part of student success and we would appreciate your consideration when choosing a charity to support.
Learn more about Investing In Children