Parkside secondary school will soon be providing breakfast to its students.
In conjunction with Breakfast Clubs of Canada (BCC), the school has arranged for a breakfast program which will be available to every student every day.
Louise Ormerod, principal at the school, spearheaded the program along with Parkside youth worker Joan Conway in an effort that started last spring.
She said the program isn’t intended to replace morning family time but is instead a valuable option for when breakfast in an alternative environment is a healthier choice for the child.
“Our students are in need of nutrition because many of them are couch surfing or staying at friend’s houses.” Ormerod said.
In order to qualify for the program, the school had to have, among other things, students in low income areas not receiving food regularly in the morning, and students who need a safe place to go before school starts in the day.
Ormerod feels that students from Parkside will benefit greatly from the program.
“Many of these kids have been kicked out of the other schools because of attention issues, and mental health issues,” Ormerod said. “Providing nutrition will only help.”
The BCC will be supplying Parkside with a fridge, freezer, dishwasher, griddles, serving trays, dishes and cutlery. It will provide the school with financial support with two yearly payments of $800.
Parkside is also set up with suppliers who will deliver bread and juice at a discounted rate to the school.
Breakfast will be served daily at the school from 8:30 – 9:30 and will be prepared by staff to start, although the school is looking into parent volunteers for the future.
Following the guidelines of the BCC, the school is required to have the program open every school day, allow access for every student and provide three to four food groups from Canada’s Food Guide.
Ormerod said that ties in perfectly with the Ministry of Education’s push for healthy food choices for students.
Ormerod, who has signed a three year contract with the BCC, will send in monthly reports detailing the school’s progress to the program.
Parkside Secondary is expecting the new kitchen equipment to arrive by the end of the month, and Ormerod said the program will begin immediately afterward.
The BCC currently assists with 45 breakfast programs in B.C.