This has been an exciting, busy season for Breakfast Club of Canada in British Columbia. Since September, we’ve opened 21 programs across BC and now have partnerships with 131 schools in this province. We opened new programs in nine different communities, reaching all four corners of the province.
As the Provincial Coordinator for BC, it was my honour to visit each of these communities in the past months to meet with our new partners, see the programs in action, and celebrate these new relationships with students, local government, our corporate partners, and the media. It’s been a flurry of activity as we held launch events in Port Edward, Terrace, Prince George, Vanderhoof, Grassy Plains, and were recognized at World Food Day for our support of 7 new programs in Langley.
Breakfast Club of Canada operates in a wide range of contexts across this country, and in this province alone we are lucky enough to work with both high schools that serve over 300 students every morning, and even a one-room school in Northern BC that serves breakfast to all 5 students each day. We see the different ways kids get to school each morning, what they’re used to eating, and how their geographical setting affects what options they have for breakfast. But the one constant across our schools, the one that helps make this dream of a reality, is the tireless dedication of school staff, parent volunteers, and community members.
These opening events were as varied as the contexts in which they were held. In foggy Port Edward, we gathered all of the young students together in the gym for a long-table breakfast made up of hot pancakes, fresh fruit and milk. In chilly Vanderhoof, high school students joined a line that wrapped out of the canteen and all the way down the hall as they eagerly anticipated a breakfast of warm waffles, strawberries, and juice. Nearly 300 students came through the canteen for breakfast that morning, and our friends at Rio Tinto Alcan had a great time joking with the students while they served them. In remote Grassy Plains, I got to sit and chat with the young students, even helping a few who were struggling to cut their banana pancakes. While the kids groggily made their way through breakfast, volunteers from the local high school donned their Breakfast Club aprons and kept working with a smile until the last child was fed and on her way to class.
As we come to the second half of the school year, we conclude our final program opening events. Pretty soon we’ll be focused on expanding food partnerships, speaking with our programs to find out how we can help them more, and looking ahead to the 2015-2016 school year. But before we do that, we wanted to take a moment here to recognize and welcome to the Club family these great schools and the outstanding champions behind them who tirelessly advocate for their students and work for their success. We consider it a great honour for the Club to be able to work hand-in-hand with these communities and fight for the future of their children, one breakfast at a time.