Kids dig in at a breakfast Club event held at Kildala Elementary in 2017.

Rio Tinto pledges another $450,000 for breakfasts

Rio Tinto has renewed its financial support of a breakfast program at Skeena Middle School, Cassie Hall Elementary and Parkside Secondary.

The $450,000 three-year commitment through the national charity Breakfast Club of Canada takes in 14 schools throughout the region and follows on an earlier three-year commitment made in 2014 which also included the three local schools.

Included on that list of 14 schools is Kildala Elementary and Kitimat City High in Kitimat.

“This important initiative is making a difference in the daily lives of children across Northern B.C. and promoting their well-being by ensuring they start the school day with a nutritious breakfast,” said Rio Tinto BC Works general manager Gareth Manderson.

Also renewing a commitment, this time for two years and for $100,000, is TransCanada Pipelines for four schools in the region, including Thornhill Primary in Thornhill.

TransCanada signed on in 2014 for an initial three-year period at $100,000 and Thornhill Primary was on the list then as well.

TransCanada is the pipeline builder of choice for the proposed LNG Canada liquefied natural gas project at Kitimat.

At Cassie Hall, an average 15 students out of a school population of 166 eat breakfast there every morning while 51 students out of the 120 at Parkside have breakfast there. At Skeena Middle School, an average 56 students out of a school population of 527 have breakfast there and at Thornhill Primary, breakfast is enjoyed by an average 32 students of out of a school population of 184.

“The breakfast program provides an incentive for many students to get to school on time,” said Thornhill Primary principal Darlene Bragg-Hounsell.

“They are greeted by a welcoming adult and provided with nutritious food that fuels the brain for quality learning, enhances the ability to concentrate and maintain a positive attitude towards learning throughout the day,” she said of the program’s benefits.

In Kitimat, 40 out of the 220 students attending Kildala Elementary have breakfast there while at Kitimat City High, an average 10 students out of that school’s population of 60 have breakfast there.

The Breakfast Club of Canada also provides breakfast to an average 27 of the 238 students going to Suwilaawks Community School and to 60 of the 90 students attending Kitwanga Elementary Junior Secondary School.

Founded in Quebec in 1994 the Breakfast Club provides money, equipment, training and support to school breakfast programs across the country and is present in 1,600 schools in Canada, feeding more than 200,000 children every school morning.

TransCanada also figured prominently in helping finance the construction of the Rotary splash park at George Little Park by making a $50,000 donation in 2016.

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Rio Tinto staff volunteered at Kildala Elementary in 2017 to serve breakfast to students. Photo Gerry Leibel

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