School Breakfast Programs

A Healthy Choice to Start Each Day

Bread and grains are a great choice to start a healthy breakfast.
Bread and grains are a great choice to start a healthy breakfast. | Source

Breakfast Clubs

When my children were attending public school, many of the schools in our city had a breakfast program called The Breakfast Club, which are still going strong today.

Breakfast is provided for all children that want something to eat before the first bell rings. I volunteered at two schools that provided this program, and I have to say it is fantastic.

Some people think that Breakfast Clubs are only for the poor and underprivileged children. This is not the case. Any child that attends the school where this program is offered, is welcome to eat for free, five days a week, should they choose to do so. No one is ever turned away.

Many times children are left to get their own breakfast before leaving for school due to parents working, and they will tend to skip breakfast, or they do not have the skills to make their own. On those days that the household sleeps in and there's a mad rush to get everyone off to school there's not always enough time to eat. Some children may have a long bus ride to school and didn't have enough breakfast at home to fill them up. Having a breakfast program in your school can ensure that your child starts his or her day off with a nutritional breakfast.


Breakfast Club Foods

Depending on the size of the school, facilities within the school and how each school is funded for this program, will determine what types of food each one may offer.

The first school that I volunteered at had a kitchen right off the gymnasium, therefore we were able to set up tables and chairs for the kids to sit at while eating. We provided fruit, cheese, toast, bagels, English muffins, jam and honey for toast, cold and hot cereals, fruit bars, along with milk and juice.

The second school where I volunteered did not have a kitchen. When the Breakfast Club first started up we held it in one of the rooms that was also used as a reading room. A refrigerator, microwave, along with dishes, utensils, and a few toasters were all donated so that we could provide breakfast and lunch for children that had not eaten or had forgotten their lunches.

Many of the schools that offer breakfast also offer lunch at no cost to the students. Some schools will serve eggs and pancakes as well as what I listed above.

Funding For Breakfast Clubs

  • In our community, schools rely on food and drink donations from various sources such as local businesses, restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, and parents.
  • Fund raisers are held.
  • Money donations come from the community.


The Benefits of Children Eating Breakfast
The child will perform better and possibly obtain higher grades.
The child's concentration is better.
The child will have more energy.
Hand-eye coordination tends to be better.
Alertness is higher.
Children are more likely to take part in physical activities.
The child is less likely to feel hungry thoughout the day.
Eating breakfast will help to maintain a healthy weight.
Children that eat breakfast overall tend to be healthier than those that skip breakfast.

Starting a Breakfast Program

There is a non profit national organization in Canada called, The Breakfast Club of Canada. Each school must meet certain criteria in order to apply for this program.

If you would like to see a breakfast program in your child's school, I would suggest bringing it up with either the PTA, school officials, or the School Board.


What is needed before setting up a breakfast club?

  • An area to prepare food.
  • Tables and chairs for the children to sit while eating.
  • Refrigerator.
  • Stove, hotplates, or microwave.
  • Toasters or toaster ovens.
  • Kettle.
  • Dishes, glasses and utensils.
  • A storage cupboard to keep food and dishes in.
  • Counter or a table to use for preparing the food.
  • Sinks for washing, sterilizing, and cleanup.
  • Cleaning supplies, dish clothes and towels.
  • Food.
  • Volunteers.
  • Find out what the health and safety regulations are in your specific area.
  • Inquire about any special type of Insurance or permits you may need.




Breakfast Club

Does your school have a Breakfast Club?

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Comments 45 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

frogyfish, Thank you for reading and for your comments.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America

It is gratifying to realize your volunteers are performing this needed service for the children. You are right when you say the children cannot perform or learn as well if they are hungry!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Mhatter, Nice to meet you, and thanks for your comments.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

when my son and daughter went to school, they formed a group (1 person picked up another,they picked up someone else & so on). as part of this, one or more particapants had to supply whatever.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

creditreportworld, Thanks for reading :)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Tammy, I always had a hard time getting my boys up too. Glad to know your school offered this program.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

This is such a benefit to kids. My kids (boys) got to school early to participate in this. The school breakfast offered a much better variety of foods then I could prepare in the mornings. It was the only incentive to get them out of bed on time in the mornings when they became teens. Great hub!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

nicomp, In some places the government does fund breakfast programs and in others not :)


nicomp profile image

nicomp 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

As long as the government ain't paying, it's great.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Jlava, It is very sad indeed. Glad that your schools offer this program.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Angela, Our high school's don't have the breakfast programs either.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Nell, These breakfast programs are so beneficial to the children. I'd like to see them in all schools worldwide.


Jlava73 profile image

Jlava73 4 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

Our kids schools here have breakfast and lunch programs at free or reduced cost. It is great. I read an article recently that stated these may be the only meals some kids eat all day. I found this really sad.


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

I believe when my children were in grade school this was an option that I sent my children to a very few couple times when I needed to drop them off early! However now that they are in middle and highschool it is no longer available. How nice of you to volunteer to help with this!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

This is great! I don't believe that we have this over here, I haven't heard about it, and it should be started because we live in a smallish village and there are a lot of children coming in on the bus and coach from the surrounding villages, so by that time they will be hungry, really interesting and its great to know that this is happening in the schools, voted up and thanks for sharing!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

drbj, It would be great if there were more schools that offered this.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Breakfast clubs for students are a great idea, Susan. I would like to see more schools offering them. There's no doubt that the kids would get much healthier breakfasts than they might prepare on their own.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Susan, Steph and HawaiiHeart, Thank you for all your comments.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Kelly, That's wonderful that schools are providing food for the weekend. Food banks are such an important part of so many communities. Food drives here supply a big part of our food banks. About once a month the schools will send out a letter to all the parents asking for donations. It's amazing how much food is donated that way.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

sen.sush, Thank you for your comment. I always like to learn about other countries and it's so nice to learn that your government provides this.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hyphenbird, Glad to hear that your school offers this program. The children do so much better when they start out the day with a healthy breakfast.


HawaiiHeart profile image

HawaiiHeart 4 years ago from Hawaii

Thank you for the info. My kid's school does serve breakfast for a fee, but that's a great idea to start a breakfast club - since so many people are tightening their budgets.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Excellent hub Susan! As a cub scout leader I can directly attest to the lack of concentration that accompanies a child that arrives hungry and/or malnourished. I applaud the schools that offer breakfast clubs to help keep students on track.

Rated up and shared! Steph


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

A Great Hub, Susan! Our students have to pay for breakfast unless they are in the free and reduced meal program.

You are so right about mornings being a big rush. Many kids eat breakfast at school before they go to classes. It really does help with their concentration and quality of learning.

Votes and shared! :-)


kelleyward 4 years ago

What an important hub Susan. I work in our community organizing Hustle for Hunger to raise money to support all local food banks. One of the food banks helps to raise money for schools providing backpacks full of food for kids who would have to go all weekend being food insecure. Thanks for sharing this important information! Take care, Kelley


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Sharyn, I'm guilty of not always eating as soon as I get up, but I do try and eat breakfast most days. So glad you liked the hub. Thank you.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Rebecca, Glad to hear your schools have a program like this.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

jellygator, It was something new when my boys were in elementary school. It's been going on now for quite a few years.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks Ruby.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Pamela,I would like to see these programs everywhere. Thanks so much for reading and for your comments.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

RH, Good thing that I'm an early riser as I had to be at the schools by 7a.m. on the days I volunteered. Yes eating breakfast does help in the learning process.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Jan, Our programs here feed quite a few children every day. Thanks for reading and for stopping by.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Janis, Thank you. All three of my boys were the same too. It would be like pulling nails to get them to eat before school. Many times they'd eat at the Breakfast Club.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Mr. Happy, I'm not sure exactly when Breakfast Clubs of Canada started but I know that it dates back to 2004, maybe a even earlier. When I was volunteering at the two schools it would have been in late 90's. Yes it is very sad how many children because of hunger.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and glad that you will look into this.


sen.sush23 profile image

sen.sush23 4 years ago from Kolkata, India

Susan, this is a important subject you have taken up. In my country, most village and suburban public schools receive a ration of cereals from the government and cook and serve breakfast/lunch in school to the children. This is also necessary as the poor often do not want the children to be in school, but would rather have them work for their own keep. But thinking of the health of our future citizens should be a concern of the State Administration and also the teachers. I like this idea of a breakfast club, which we could implement in our numerous private schools too, that also take care of a lot of poor and impoverished children. An empty belly will of course make it a difficult journey to knowledge. Voted up.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Our school has a breakfast program and it is free to low income students. Rates are reduced for most other students. I believe it is only a dollar or so anyway. My little boy always has breakfast at home so I haven't really looked into it. I know many children benefit from it though. Mothers who go to work early and drop off the it children at the preschool daycare probably are very grateful for it.

Your Breakfast Club program sounds very beneficial aslo. I believe kids need a meal before beginning the long school day.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

LOVE this topic Susan. I have never heard of this concept and especially it being "free" for any kid. Personally, I do not like to eat for the first couple hours after awakening, which I know really isn't good. Sometimes, I will start to feel sick and force myself to have something. This is a great idea for ALL schools. It's is so important for kids to eat something early to get the brain functioning so they can learn. Awesome hub and I love the fruit plate separator!

Sharyn


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

We have breakfast for free, reduced or really cheap here. It is based on income and family size. But this was not the case a decade or so ago. So I suppose that is our breakfast club. Either way, Breakfast is really important for everyone, kids especially. I just can't make it without breakfast!


jellygator profile image

jellygator 4 years ago from USA

None of the schools my kids attended had anything like that, but two teachers I know here in the Kansas City area say MANY of their students need the free breakfast and free lunch programs offered by the government. I think that "Breakfast Club" sounds so much friendlier and beneficial, though.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is a great program. I don't know if our school offers this. I will ask. Thank you.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

This sounds like a wonderful thing to offer in any school. I don't have school children anymore so I don't know if any programs are offered where I live, but I would hope so. This is a very useful hub.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Hey Susan - our school has one. Now you know good and well I did not get up early enough to volunteer at breakfast anywhere:) LOL

My kids usually ate at home but if they wanted to meet with friends to mess around before school their dad would take them for fun.

I think this info should be shared everywhere! Breakfast is the MOST important meal for young learners - it aids in getting glucose circulating to the brain which helps in the learning process.


Janhorner 4 years ago

Hi,

What a splendid idea. I've never heard of a breakfast club. What a lovely way to get kids together and have a good gossip before the start of the day and, more importantly those kids who don't have breakfast for one reason or the other are getting a good start to the day!

Magic!

Jan


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago

I always tried to feed my daughter breakfast at home, but she is not a morning person and could never eat right after waking up. School was very stressful for her, and even though I sent her food, she often didn't eat much. I am sure there are others like her, and the breakfast club might really have helped.

Thank you for the information. voting up!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"There is a non profit national organization in Canada called, The Breakfast Club of Canada." - I did not know this. Thank You for the information, I will look into it.

I think this is a very important topic to discuss as I have been in the situation of being hungry in my childhood/teenage years and I found that one cannot study much when one is lacking food. It is a difficult situation ... I think about this often.

There are over thirty thousand children who die each day due to hunger related diseases, world-wide. Sad story. I think every child on this planet should have access to shelter, food and education.

Thank You for putting this article together. Education and food go hand-in-hand when we are talking about children, in my opinion.

All the best!

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