The School Breakfast Club program, which began in 2016, is part of the Victorian government’s $58 million investment, delivered in partnership with Foodbank Victoria, to provide free, healthy food for students at 1,000 government schools.
The School Breakfast Club Program enables hundreds of thousands of Victorian students to start the school day with full stomachs, clearer minds and better moods, with the Government’s School Breakfast Clubs program celebrating more than 20 million meals served.
The School Breakfast Clubs program seeks to address the impact that disadvantage can have on education outcomes by offering free and healthy food for students. Research shows that a child’s ability to concentrate in class, self-regulate and learn is negatively impacted if they are hungry. It has been reported that the rising cost of living makes it increasingly difficult particularly for low-income families and families living in poverty to provide enough healthy food for all the family each week.
Since being established, the program has delivered more than 20 million nutritious meals, and has continued supporting students with access to healthy food despite periods of remote learning during the pandemic.
Smaller breakfast clubs were run at school for students who were permitted to learn onsite, as well as ‘grab and go’ meal options for students to take home, food provided for families to collect from school sites to keep kids fed at home, and supplies even delivered to the homes of vulnerable students.
In addition to delivering healthy breakfasts to students in 1,000 primary, secondary and specialist schools, the program provides nutritious lunches and holiday food supplies to students in need – and delivers cooking classes for families from around 100 schools across the state.
School Holiday Supply packs are also available for schools to order over the summer school holiday period for families who need support.
Nearly 40,000 packs have been distributed since the program began, with the 14-day food packs expanded last year to include lunch items in addition to healthy breakfasts and snacks.