A school breakfast program in Yarmouth got a welcome financial boost recently from a local business, an example of community support for an initiative everyone agrees is important.
Yarmouth Central School received over $1,600 from Burger King, thanks to the generosity of the restaurant’s customers, in support of Central’s breakfast program.
“We really appreciate the support of the local community and local businesses,” said Central School principal Stephen Cullen. “Our needs are constantly increasing. We have more and more students using the program on a daily basis.”
Burger King restaurants throughout the Maritimes wanted to give back to their communities and the decision was made to support school breakfast programs, says Phil Gould, market coach for Burger King Restaurants Management Inc.
“It’s all donations from our customers,” he said. “Fortunately, we were able to raise a fair amount of funds and donate to some local schools and the feedback that we’ve gotten from the schools has been outstanding.”
Burger King has 15 locations in the Maritimes, he said.
“As we all know, (breakfast) is the most important meal of the day,” Gould said. “We’re very excited to do this. It’s something we’re very proud of.”
Lori Munro-Sigfridson, active healthy living consultant with the Tri-County Regional Centre for Education, says school breakfast programs have been quite successful and can be found at schools throughout the tri-county region.
How the programs operate can vary from one school to another, she said.
“Some of them are solely volunteer-run,” she said. “Some are a combination of student and teacher-led and some of them are run by teachers, so it’s a variety, just depending on the school and the location and the resources available to them.”
Like Cullen at Central School, she says it’s great to have local support for the breakfast programs, given how a good, nutritious breakfast helps prepare students for the day.
She says the programs are for all students. The idea is to provide them with a variety of fresh fruits and healthy food options.
At the provincial level, Munro-Sigfridson says, more emphasis is being placed on trying to make sure students are eating well when they’re at school, not just at breakfast but with snacks, for instance.
“We’re starting to see a bigger focus on healthy eating in schools and the connection between what we eat and how we learn and our ability to learn,” she said.