Monday, 2 July 2018

The Andrews Labor Government’s School Breakfast Clubs have served five million meals to students across Victoria, ensuring they start their school day on a full stomach, ready to learn.

Minister for Education James Merlino this morning joined students at Morwell Park Primary School, one of the 500 schools that serve up free and healthy Victorian-produced breakfasts.

School Breakfast Clubs have been providing 50,000 free meals each week at 500 of Victoria’s most disadvantaged schools since 2016.

In 2017, 569,000 kilograms of food was distributed, with an average 33 students attending a breakfast club in every school, every day of operation. This includes 11,834 kilograms of instant oats, 128,840 apples, and 230,719 litres of milk.

Research has shown that since the program started, nine out of ten teachers have seen improved student concentration in the classroom, while seven out of ten teachers have noted improved attendance and more than eight out of ten teachers said they now had better relationships with their students.

The research also found in 2017, 87 per cent of schools felt they were meeting the breakfast needs of their students, a dramatic increase from the 43 per cent who felt they were meeting breakfast needs prior to the program.

The delivery of the $13.7 million breakfast club commitment is another example of how the Andrews Labor Government is tackling disadvantage and making things fair so that all children can reach their potential, regardless of their background or circumstances.

A full list of School Breakfast Clubs can be found at education.vic.gov.au/breakfastclubs.

Volunteering opportunities can be found at: foodbankvictoria.org.au/SBCvolunteers.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“One in seven children arrive at school with an empty stomach and our School Breakfast Clubs mean these students no longer go hungry and can now get the most out of their education.”

“Despite its success, the program would be cut by the Liberals if they win the next election. They’ve already promised a cost audit, which is code for cuts – cuts to breakfast clubs, cuts to the school uniform program and cuts to helping kids go to school camps and excursions.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“Across Gippsland alone we have seen more than 2,000 students share in more than 700,000 meals. These are hundreds of local kids who would have sat through class on an empty stomach without this program.”

“Labor’s program is tackling hunger in the classroom and the results are improved attendance and academic performance.”