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Volunteers Needed for School Breakfast Programs

Schools need volunteers to get their breakfast program started. Food For Kids and the Peterborough County-City Health Unit reported today that over a thousand students are at risk of not having a breakfast program this school year unless volunteers are recruited.

“At this point, a number of our 47 local schools do not have a student nutrition program coordinator, which means breakfast and snacks for 1,350 students will not be available until volunteers are in place,” said Luisa Magalhaes, Public Health Nutritionist at the Health Unit. “This number is higher than in previous years, so we are starting our volunteer recruitment drive earlier to ensure our students get the best start possible.”

Last year, Food For Kids fed 17,434 students a total of 2,183,953 meals thanks to 1,037 volunteers who each contributed an average of an hour each week. Research shows that students with access to a breakfast program have reduced risk for disease, are more likely to come to school and participate in class, have better test scores, and are more likely to graduate. 

“Universal student nutrition programs are incredibly important for our children and community, because regardless of need, every student has access to good food to start off their day,” said Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Medical Officer of Health. “Not only do our students learn better, which sets them up for success in their future, but the volunteers also benefit from their connection to such a worthy cause. We couldn’t do this without them, and I am extremely grateful for their dedication.”

Schools currently in need of breakfast program coordinators in our area include:

• Adam Scott Intermediate, Peterborough

• St. Paul Catholic Elementary School, Lakefield

• Warsaw Public School, Warsaw

In addition to program coordinators, volunteers are needed at most schools to help with shopping, preparing and serving food, record keeping and communicating with families, students, staff and volunteers.

Food for Kids Peterborough and County, a community partnership, has supported Breakfast Programs in local elementary and secondary schools for over 20 years. Programs are partially funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Breakfast Clubs of Canada, and Breakfast for Learning through their local charitable partner, the Peterborough Family Resource Centre, as well as from generous donations from the community. Dedicated volunteers provide healthy breakfasts and help to ensure that all students are able to attend classes well-nourished and ready to learn to their full potential.

To sign up to volunteer, make a donation, or for more information about Food For Kids, please visit www.pcchu.ca/ffk or call 705-743-1000, ext. 233.

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