Hearts were warmed and empty tummies were filled at the official launch of the Breakfast Club of Canada program, at Prince Rupert Middle School (P.R.M.S) on Feb. 25.
The school has been offering breakfast on it’s own to students since 2011 when the school was built. Breakfast items have been purchased with community link funding which every school receives, however, with cost increases and lean times, community sponsors were required to assist with Breakfast Club of Canada’s participation. Ridley Terminals Inc., Pembina, and Prince Rupert Port Authority stepped into the partnership roll with funding to support breakfasts for children.
School District 52 approached Breakfast Club of Canada seven years ago, due to the high need for the program, Benjamin Neumer senior advisor, business development for Breakfast Club of Canada said, however, industry was not prominent in the city then but now with new growth community funding can be leveraged.
Breakfast Club of Canada has opened three programs in P.R. to feed more than 200 children in the city each day. P.R.M.S. feeds about 50 to 60 students a day, said Michelle Cross, school principal.
Funding for the P.R.M.S Breakfast Club of Canada program was received in October 2019. During the past few months the school has purchased equipment and prepared the kitchen for the official launch. The increased funding allowed for better quality food and more variety, as well as toasters and warmers so hot breakfast items like eggs can be served.
“We definitely have more kids coming. There has been around a 35 per cent increase in kids coming for breakfast, since October,” Cross said.
“The students love the waffles and the eggs. It’s also a great time for them to socialize with peers who are not in their class. Some kids come early and decide not to eat at home.”
The morning opening ceremonies included student drummers with welcome songs and addresses by the community sponsors and school board.
“The level of engagement and energy from the staff, students and community for the breakfast club is really impressive. It is obvious why it is a success,” Rob Booker, CEO of Ridley Terminals Inc. said.
“RTI became involved because having healthy learning families and children are integral to our success in the community overall,” Booker said.
“We want to express our gratitude to the community. It just shows anything is possible with partners,” Kate Toye, Vice Chair of School District 52 said at the opening celebration.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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