Pupils getting kick-start from breakfast scheme

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More than 30 million breakfasts have been served to New Zealand children by the Kickstart Breakfast programme.

East Gore School has been part of the programme since 2010, providing a breakfast for children every day of the school week.

Gore East School principal Wendy Kitto said there could be anywhere from 10 to 30 children coming to the breakfast.

“Sometimes it is a social interaction, as well as having breakfast with their friends.

“We also have a lot of anonymous local community support with donations of bread, margarine and spreads, which is marvellous,” Ms Kitto said.

For more than three years, volunteer Lynn Barclay has come in every school day to help the children with their breakfasts.

“I love working with the kids.

“The older children take care of the littlies. They all have to have [cereal] before they are allowed toast, and then take responsibility clearing and rinsing their plates.

“Some of the children have already had their breakfast, but it might have been early in the morning and by the time they get to school they are hungry again,” Miss Barclay said.

Kickstart Breakfast is a joint initiative between Fonterra, Sanitarium and the Ministry of Social Development.

The programme is designed to positively influence child wellbeing through providing access to nutritious food at school.

Kickstart Breakfast is the only national breakfast programme of its kind, and has been delivering Anchor milk and Weet-Bix to New Zealand schools since term 1, 2009, and now serves more than 135,000 breakfasts each school week.