The staff and students at Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School work together to provide a healthy grab and go breakfast open to all 1,800 plus students at BR. This year, the team has added a chalkboard menu and some great music to greet everyone as they enjoy their breakfast on the way to class.
Catherine Haley, teacher and volunteer coordinator at BR says, “Our breakfast club not only feeds hungry students in the morning, but we also provide a leadership opportunity for our students to give back to their school community and create a welcoming way to start the day in the school piazza.”
The Breakfast team is organized into student team leaders for each morning with two student leaders each morning. Student teams communicate amongst themselves if they are unable to come in for their shift using Instagram, Remind, or other social media. Five staff members assist by ensuring there is one staff member per morning. HFFT Volunteer Coordinator and staff member, Catherine Haley, is responsible for the overall program – keeping track of which students have safe food handling training and ordering the food items and working as the liaison with HFFT. Mr. Monga, the commissaire, is also a valuable member of the club and helps in many ways including with food deliveries while teachers and students are in class.
The students create the menu, prep and serve the breakfast items, track their volunteer hours, assist Mrs. Haley in the year end tally of the volunteer hours and provide program feedback – what’s working and what they need to change. The students store the food and tidy the new refrigerator from an equipment grant from President’s Choice Children’s Charities Student Nutrition Grant for which the breakfast program qualified with the assistance of HFFT.
Here are some thoughts about the breakfast program directly from the student team at BR:
“The breakfast club is a great opportunity to make new friends and contribute to our school community in a positive way.”
“As a new member of the Breakfast Club, I can say it is a group worth joining. It’s a fun community with the main objective of promoting healthy eating and has been a positive influence in the school.”
“Unlike other clubs, members take time out of their mornings to help those who didn’t have a chance to have breakfast at home.”
The BR Breakfast team is very resourceful and keep to a simple, healthy menu. The students created a healthy warm apple crisp with the extra apples from the Great Big Crunch and have served yogurt parfaits. The favourite grab and go item is fresh, whole fruit like apples and oranges – terrific!
Thank you to the students for caring for their peers and for the leadership they show in running the program. Thanks to all the staff involved and the school community for supporting the student nutrition program at BR.