Recently, two breakfast programs welcomed special visitors. At Maillard Middle School in Coquitlam, BC, professional athletes and BCC ambassadors Lindsey Butterworth and Justin Kent served up breakfast to students. In Montreal, QC, chef and entrepreneur Geneviève Everell had the chance to visit a new program at Evangeline School.
Be sure to read our blog article to discover what happened and see the videos of their visits!
Maillard Middle School
Maillard Middle School has been a part of Breakfast Club of Canada since 2013, and youth worker Lisa Haines has been running the program for the last five years.
Like other coordinators, Lisa has had to adjust her service during the pandemic, changing it from a drop-in, sit-down breakfast in the cafeteria to a grab & go–style program. The excellent quality of her breakfasts hasn’t changed, however. Her students’ favourites are the fresh vegetable sandwich, filled with hummus, spinach, cucumbers, bell peppers and cheese, and the banana oat pancakes. Her secret is soaking the oats in milk overnight for a heartier texture, and the bananas are sweet enough that syrup is not needed at all. If there are any leftovers, students are welcome to grab a bag for a snack or for lunch.
Lindsey and Justin had a great time visiting Maillard Middle School and connecting with some of the breakfast program’s enthusiastic regulars.
As ambassadors, Lindsey and Justin want to contribute to fundraising and promoting BCC’s values to provide youth with healthy nutritional opportunities and education.
“I have a passion for health promotion and a keen interest in advocating healthy behaviour through proper nutrition in youth. Learning about food security in my undergraduate degree and volunteering with the breakfast program at my local community centre really instilled the importance of access to a healthy breakfast in me. I want to continue to promote and increase accessibility to breakfast programs across the country with Breakfast Club of Canada.” Lindsey Butterworth
“I believe in the importance of equal opportunity for youth to have access to proper nutrition. Growing up in Surrey, British Columbia, an inner-city school system, I witnessed the positive impact of a breakfast program. I hope I can make a difference so that youth are properly fuelled to achieve their goals. No one should chase their dreams on an empty stomach.” Justin Kent
Watch this video to find out their reason for teaming up with us and why they believe in school breakfast programs.
Located in the north end of Montreal, Évangeline School is home to over 800 senior high school students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. In addition to mainstream classes, the school also offers specialized and vocational preparation programs for students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Starting in fall 2021, Samia Abbassa, a school staff member and the breakfast program site coordinator, has been there every morning to greet students from the regular program who begin to pour in at 7:30 a.m. She sets up in the cafeteria and serves breakfast to anyone who wants it. While she is catering to them, she is also preparing bins for the students in the ASD classes, who prefer to have breakfast in their own classroom, where any sensory issues are easier to cope with.
Every morning, a student from each of the ASD classes is tasked with picking up the breakfast food bin and later returning any leftovers to Samia, along with the reusable utensils to be washed. This kind of involvement in the breakfast program can represent a big step in developing students’ sense of responsibility. The benefits of the breakfast program are therefore twofold: it is an excellent source of nutrition and a solution for working through unique challenges.
BCC ambassador Geneviève Everell recently went to visit students at Évangeline School, where she rolled up her sleeves to serve up a delicious breakfast to the teens.
Entrepreneur, author, franchisor, speaker and former BCC enrollee Geneviève Everell is the wiz behind Sushi à la maison. Hers is a truly remarkable story. The breakfast program she attended at elementary school helped mitigate the food insecurity she experienced at home.
“Your organization made such a huge difference in my life. I never thought one day I’d be able to say THANK YOU!” Geneviève Everell
Watch the video here (in French only).