Food and family are, plain and simple, better together.
We all have a favorite memory involving family and a meal. What is yours? Who are you with, and where? Is it Sunday night dinners at Mom and Dad’s? Family gatherings for Easter, Thanksgiving or the holidays? Perhaps it’s simply sitting down with your children or loved one, for breakfast or dinner. Traditions are diverse when it comes to family and food, but in general, they all have something in common: they involve a moment of connection and sharing.
We work closely with school staff and students, so we have the chance to hear stories and witness special moments where bonds are formed over a simple meal: breakfast. This year alone, we met a hardworking Surrey, BC mother who sits with her daughter every morning while she eats breakfast at school so they can have one-on-one time together. A Principal in Portage la Prairie, MB, told us about siblings who used to miss school because they had little to no food at home, and who are back in class now that they can count on their school’s breakfast club.
We met lively parents who enjoyed quality time with their children by volunteering at their school’s breakfast program before work. We even traveled with Indigenous elders in remote BC forests where they taught children how to prepare traditional food as their ancestors did. Every time, the stories are unique, touching, and they remind us of the power of food as a connector.
School breakfast programs actually often have many of the ingredients that make up a family: a mix of care, respect, attention to one another, encouragements, laughter and a touch of chaos!
That is why it’s not surprising to witness a child talking to the program volunteer like they would to a dad, an aunt or a Grandma. That is what makes our clubs such a special place, a place where food truly fosters family!