Breakfast Club Expansion
Bowls of fresh fruit, rows of yogurt cups, and baked goods line a table in the multi-purpose room at Shortreed Community Elementary. Lindsay Romas is behind the table ready to serve students a healthy meal to help them start their day. Romas is a youth care worker at the Aldergrove neighbourhood school. Before the morning bell she helps at the school’s breakfast club. Every day the program which is available to all students provides nutritious meals and snacks.
“I know a lot of our students show up to school for various reasons having missed breakfast and having this program helps those students get ready for a full day of learning,” said Lindsay Romas, youth care worker at Shortreed Community Elementary.
“It’s also another opportunity to connect with the students in the morning, checking in on them, and seeing them smile, of course, underneath their masks,” she added.
Shortreed’s breakfast club is one of 29 breakfast programs running in the District supported by the Langley School District Foundation. Out of those 29 programs, more than a third including Shortreed, are supported by the Breakfast Club of Canada, which is an organization providing funding to more than 3,000 programs across the country.
“We are pleased to announce to the community that three more schools in our District will be supported by the Breakfast Club of Canada. This financial support brings our existing number of 11 schools to 14 schools supported by this organization,” said Alicia Rempel, Executive Director of the Langley School District Foundation.
“The Foundation is grateful to receive this funding of 40 thousand dollars this year to help support these schools. We know these funds will help us ensure every student reaches their full educational potential,” she adds.
The expansion of this program will include Douglas Park Community School, Parkside Centennial School, and Langley Meadows Community School. The support includes food deliveries, grocery vouchers, and funds to purchase a wide range of equipment and supplies.
“It is an exciting time for these new schools. To set-up the programs, principals will be able to spend the funds on big purchases including industry grade appliances like a stove and refrigerator or smaller items such as serving utensils,” outlines Rempel.
“I am looking forward to receiving this support from the Breakfast Clubs of Canada. As a long-time educator, I know that learning can only happen when basic needs are met,” said Diana Wilk, Principal of Douglas Park Community school.
Wilk says food is not the only benefit for students – it’s also about community and connection.
“When you come here and see the students playing with each other, and they’re talking about what they love, and they’re eating and sharing food, you just get to see another side of them. I hope that they feel welcomed, and that they belong, and that this is a safe place where they can have food, love, and care,” explains Wilk.
“Our staff and volunteers already do an amazing job supporting our school community with our existing food program, especially during the pandemic. Having this additional support, will only make things so much easier to help our families,” remarked Wilk.
The additional schools receiving this support will be working with the Foundation to utilize the funds in the coming weeks.
The Langley School District Foundation, feeds 1,500 students every day and over 200 families each weekend. It continues to fundraise and promote its Food for Thought campaign to help support food programs across the District. To help, you can donate by visiting https://lsdf.org/.