Volunteers and students


At Sainte Agathe Academy, a K–11 school in the Laurentians region of Quebec, they like to do things a little differently. The environment has been a top priority for the school’s breakfast program since it was introduced in 2021.


Disposable supplies have never been part of the program, and funding was secured for a composter and compost containers for table scraps. And what is the compost used for? To fertilize the rooftop garden above the gymnasium, naturally! The Academy has opted for financial support from BCC, which means they purchase their own food products. They buy local whenever they can and make it a point to deal with nearby partners, such as the school’s caterers and Bourassa Alimentation, a wholesaler specializing in fresh produce and other foods sourced in Quebec. Plus, some of the eggshells, peels, rinds and more are set aside in reusable containers for one of the teachers to feed to her goats at home!  


Something else that makes Sainte Agathe Academy stand out is the active involvement of students in numerous environmental initiatives. A dozen high school students who belong to the Green Club are in charge of ensuring that waste is managed as sustainably as possible, and gardening duties are carried out by 15 kindergarteners and 18 Secondary I students who are members of the Garden Club. The school’s garden grows beans, cherry and full-sized tomatoes, an assortment of herbs, strawberries and other things used in the breakfast program. Some of these plants are actually seeded in the classroom in cutout milk cartons before being transferred by students to the garden. 


In addition to the students, there are several other staff members to thank for these wonderful environmental initiatives. The breakfast program coordinator, Chantal Paquin, would like to thank Nicole Joanette (assistant), Claire Langlois (volunteer), Mélanie Bow (volunteer), John Depitria (volunteer and former student), Barb MacAulay (volunteer), Craig Duguid (janitor), and Sandra and Joe Morselli (caterers) for all their help. 

Volunteer and young volunteer in kitchen


Involving children in cooking can be a rewarding experience for everyone concerned. Not only can it help develop students’ culinary skills, but it can also foster resourcefulness and encourage healthy eating habits. Here are some tips and tricks to increase kids’ kitchen IQ! 


Establish a clear routine: Before starting the activity, take the time to explain the process so that everyone knows what to expect. 

Choose simple recipes: Start with basic recipes suitable for their age. Recipes involving a small number of straightforward steps and easy-to-handle ingredients are ideal. 

Give them responsibilities: Assign each child a specific task according to their abilities. This could involve stirring ingredients, measuring quantities, portioning mixtures, kneading dough, etc. 

Create a safe environment: Ensure that the kitchen is a kid-friendly place by eliminating potential hazards such as sharp knives and hot pans. 

Encourage creativity: Get children to express themselves by allowing them to customize certain recipes. For example, they can choose their own toppings for oatmeal or add their favourite fruits to a smoothie. 

Make it fun: Play background music, wear matching aprons and create a positive atmosphere to make the experience of cooking together enjoyable. 

Teach them about food hygiene and safety: Take this opportunity to demonstrate the basic rules of food safety, such as washing hands before handling food, cleaning surfaces, storing different types of food properly and more. 

Explore new foods: Encourage children to try different flavours and textures. Talk about new foods, where they come from and how they grow. Try new recipes that reflect diversity. 

Highlight their efforts: Praise and acknowledge them for their work. This will make them want to continue participating in culinary activities. 

Involve them in the planning process: Ask for their input on what they would like to cook and involve them in menu planning. Encourage them to share recipes from different cultures. All of this can make them more excited about helping out. 

Be patient and supportive: Cooking with children can be a bit chaotic at times, but remember that it’s a learning experience. Let them go at their own pace, encourage their efforts and  have fun together! 

Make the experience last beyond the activity: Share recipe cards with parents so that children can make the same thing at home. Discuss the activity and recipes in the school newsletter. Send a collection of the recipes used home at the end of the year. The possibilities are endless! 

Bénévoles à travers le Canada


As we are celebrating International Women’s Day, Breakfast Club of Canada would like to highlight the work of breakfast champions and volunteers.

Every morning, they are up early and ready to make a difference in their students’ lives. In addition to offering them a nutritious breakfast, they create safe and welcoming environments where children can start their day. To mark International Women’s Day, we have asked schools from coast-to-coast-to-coast to nominate one of their breakfast champions. We are proud to recognize their efforts and want to thank each one of them for having a significant impact on children’s well-being!


Alberta (Edmonton)

Amina, bénévole Alberta

Amina has been demonstrating a high degree of flexibility as well as the capacity to organize and take the time to do the best she can. She is a very caring person. All the students, teachers and staff of St. Teresa of Calcutta School are greatly appreciative of her dedication and commitment.


New-Brunswick (Florenceville)

Paula, bénévole New-Brunswick

Paula is the backbone of Carleton North High School’s breakfast program. Every day, she skillfully directs her staff of student assistants to provide nutritious items for over 150 hungry students. Thank you, Paula, for everything you do. You are an amazing team member!


Ontario (Mississauga)

Jamie, bénévole en Ontario

Jamie ensures that the students have milk and nonperishable and perishable breakfast food items daily. She even began delivering fresh fruit and snacks to every classroom to ensure that those who arrive or get hungry later in the morning have an option.


Prince Edward Island (Pinette)

Lana, bénévole à PEI

Lana is our breakfast champion. She always makes time in her day, often coming into school early, to bake, sort snacks and prepare breakfast bins for our students in kindergarten through Grade 9. We are beyond grateful for all the extras Lana does for our school and students. Thanks, Lana!


Quebec (Luskville)

Hélène, bénévole au Québec

Hélène is celebrating her 25th anniversary of being involved with the breakfast program this year. Every morning, with her crew of volunteers, she welcomes students with a smile and a delicious breakfast. She sets a great example for the school and the community!


Saskatchewan (Bienfait)

Theresa, bénévole Saskatchewan

Theresa is an integral part of our breakfast program.  She plans and orders all the food and spends her weekends prepping and baking for the upcoming week, so our students have healthy breakfasts every morning.

Jacques Bisson: Getting Every Morning Off to a Nutritious Start


For the past several years, Jacques Bisson has embodied the spirit of volunteer and community service through his involvement with the breakfast program at Laflèche School in Shawinigan, Quebec. As someone who firmly believes in giving back to the community and is always on the lookout for ways to do more, Jacques started working with Breakfast Club of Canada six years ago, when he found out they were looking for volunteers. For the past three years, he has served as the head volunteer, overseeing the distribution of around 50 breakfasts each morning, using BCC’s “mixed menu” format, alongside a team of like-minded adults and student volunteers from Grades 5 and 6.  


Jacques is passionate about making sure students get a healthy start to their day and is constantly coming up with new ideas for boosting the nutritional value of the meals he prepares. He is quick to roll up his sleeves to test out new dishes. What sets his approach to adapting recipes apart is his dedication to meeting certain essential criteria: each recipe must be cost-effective, use simple ingredients and be built around nutrient-dense foods, all of which align with BCC’s nutritional guidelines. 


Some of the ways Jacques does this is by using spent grain flour from our partners at Still Good, choosing whole-wheat flour instead of white wherever possible, reducing the sugar content of his recipes and maximizing the nutritional value of each ingredient. He actively seeks input from his student volunteers on upcoming meals and, every morning, talks to students about what they are eating and gets them interested in trying new things. Everyone loves what he makes, and his efforts have a real impact on fostering healthy lifestyle habits. 


His latest initiative has involved encouraging students to drink more water. His efforts have resulted in the installation of a water bottle station along with a poster emphasizing the importance of hydration. This stands as an excellent example of Jacques’s commitment to students’ nutrition and well-being. 


Jacques is an inspiration, both within his community and beyond. His ingenious ideas, his hard work and dedication, and his unswerving focus on nutrition make him a role model for everyone around him — young and old alike. He is an inspiring figure for his community and a shining example of what it means to give without expecting anything in return.  

École Wadena


Wadena Composite School (WCS) is a Grade 7–12 school of 150 students and 17 staff in the community of Wadena, Saskatchewan (population 1,400). For the past three years, Wadena Composite has greatly benefited from Breakfast Club of Canada funding. Aside from addressing nutritional breakfast needs for students, the program has brought a very positive connection between the staff and students, and the school and community. 


Each and every morning, one or two staff members hand out the daily breakfast starting 40 minutes before first class. Students often grab and go before heading to the gym or spending time in the commons area hanging out with staff and classmates. The atmosphere created is one of smiles, “good mornings” and positive attitudes. Every staff member is involved in the breakfast program, taking turns throughout each month. They order food, plan monthly menus and even cook. With the fact that no wages are needed for this service, all of the funds can be used for food. 


The community itself has three family-run businesses offering breakfast items and one grocery store, all of which help the school with the breakfast program. With all of this, the breakfast program has 100% involvement by staff and community businesses, which translates to a positive connection within the community towards the school. Add in the fact that 100% of the students are offered nutritional food choices on a daily basis and you can see how WCS and Breakfast Club of Canada have created a great program for everyone in this small town in Saskatchewan. 



Written by: Darin Faubert, Principal, Wadena Composite School 

How many young people do you know who have a key to their school?

Secondary 5 student Viviane Harbec is one of a precious few. The administration of Antoine-Brossard High School (Brossard, Quebec) had no reservations about trusting her with this responsibility so she could go about her duties as a highly dedicated breakfast program volunteer. 


At Antoine-Brossard, every morning kicks off on a cheerful note, with music and a long line of tables prepped and ready to receive breakfast-goers from the student body of about 1,800 teens. Frédéric Jacques, the school’s spiritual care and community involvement counsellor, Principal Éric Chevalier and Viviane herself are there to greet them.  


Viviane has been involved in the school’s breakfast program since it began in September 2020. She was just starting Secondary 3 and the project piqued her interest. At that point, the nascent program was limited to a grab-and-go model. But Viviane’s drive and determination helped turn it into a unique and convenient buffet-style operation. The prep work requires Viviane to come in earlier than anyone else, hence the need for the key. After the food has been put out and the tables set, she sticks around at the breakfast station, along with her fellow student volunteers, to ensure everything runs smoothly until the first bell rings and she heads off to class.  


It makes Viviane’s heart sing to see the smile breakfast brings to the faces of those who avail themselves of the program. That’s her primary motivation. At 16, she understands the importance of reaching out to those who might be going through a tough time or need an extra helping hand. Given her caring and compassionate nature, it’s not surprising to learn that she plans to enrol in a nursing program at a nearby CEGEP next year, making good on a dream she’s had since Grade 6.  


Since she won’t be around come September, Viviane has started to train other students who will succeed her in this role. And she will be finishing up her high school career and her time with the Club on a celebratory note: she received a letter in April informing her that she had been awarded a Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal in recognition of her outstanding community and social engagement. Her parents are understandably very proud of her commitment to making a difference in the lives of the people around her.  


On behalf of everyone here at Breakfast Club of Canada, we thank you, Viviane, for everything you’ve done, day in and day out, for your school breakfast program. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours. You definitely have a very bright future ahead of you! 


Enfants en ligne pour petits déjeuners

In the past year, Kikino Elementary School in Alberta has let Breakfast Club of Canada know about some impactful steps they have taken to incorporate nutrition education into their daily routine. Their goal has been to normalize discussions around food in a way that respects culture and tradition. 

Devanture école Kikino

Informing the whole student community about nutrition starts first thing in the morning when the school includes a daily nutrition tip in their morning announcements. This means that all students are learning valuable information about the food they eat in a fun and casual way. And they are actually remembering what they hear! Principal Laurie Thompson reports that she often gets comments like, “I really like egg day. Eggs have 7 grams of protein and are a good brain food to start the morning!” As an added bonus, they are now more inclined to drink water and are more engaged in reading and understanding food labels. 

In addition to this initiative, the school highlights and celebrates those who bring in nutritious food for snacks. There is also a trade-in fridge where students can exchange a highly processed or sugary item for one that better supports a full day of learning.  

Kikino Elementary School has been able to introduce conversations around food in a positive manner that makes food part of the whole school community. The nutrition tip complements their daily breakfast program, and they’re thrilled with how these changes have impacted their students’ eating habits.  


Keep it up!  


As this school year comes to an end, now is the perfect time to be thinking about setting yourself up for a successful reopening of your breakfast program in the fall.


In preparation for 2023–2024, consider the following tips and ideas to step into September with a smile: 

  • Hold a recruitment drive to recruit volunteers for your breakfast program.  
  • Reach out to local organizations and businesses for possible partnerships. A good relationship with nearby stores and store managers can help you tap into community discounts, food donations and other sources of support. You might also want to consider asking for donations or assistance in preparing breakfast for your program. 
  • Recognize breakfast program volunteers and thank them for their contributions through Breakfast in Unisson. 
  • Invite students to share why they love their school breakfast and what they would like to see in the program next year.  
  • Empty your fridges and freezers in case there are power outages during the summer. Be sure to unplug them before you leave. 
  • If you have egg coupons, don’t forget to use them before the end of the year. 
  • Store all dried goods in airtight containers out of direct sunlight, and make sure that the expiry dates extend at least until the opening of your program.  
  • Deep-clean all breakfast areas and equipment.  
  • If you don’t operate under a food delivery model, plan your breakfast menus in advance, make a list and stick to it! Your budget will thank you. 
  • Take care of any pending paperwork, sign everything that needs to be signed and update your schedules. For resources and tools, see the Schools Corner of our website. 


Have any questions or need support?
Reach out to your BCC coordinator. They have a wealth of knowledge and are happy to help you maximize your breakfast program’s potential!  



As we celebrate Earth Day, Breakfast Club of Canada highlights the global movement to raise awareness about preserving the planet. As we work to foster students’ well-being and empower them to achieve their potential, we are proud to support school breakfast programs with equipment and resources to make their programs more environmentally sustainable and commend all our partners who share these green aspirations. 

Read on to learn more about some of the innovative, eco-friendly initiatives that schools in Breakfast Club of Canada’s network are making happen.  


Protecting Mother Earth  

Cando Community School, Cando, Saskatchewan 

Protecting nature is valued by everyone at Cando Community School, which serves the Cando area and the Mosquito and Red Pheasant First Nations. In the fall of 2022, the administration at Cando Community School requested support from the Club to purchase a set of insulated containers that can be used to prepare and serve a wider variety of hot and cold breakfast items. This approach has made the breakfast program more environmentally sustainable and helps save on food transportation and storage costs and time.  

Reducing waste in our school is very important so we can do our part and take care of Mother Earth. Polystyrene, plastic and aluminium foil don’t break down easily in the environment. By not using them, we are generating a lot less waste.”  – Sarah L’Hoir, Principal, Cando Community School  

Waste not, want not 

Charles-Bruneau School, Montreal, Quebec 

In 2020, the administration of Charles-Bruneau School set up a green committee to raise students’ awareness of their environmental footprint and encourage behaviours that reduce food waste. As a result of the committee’s efforts, breakfast is now served in reusable sealed containers, cereal is bought in bulk and students wash their own dishes.  

Congratulations to all students, staff and breakfast program volunteers for your inspiring ideas making a world of difference. Keep up the great work! 

As the 2020–2021 school year got underway, Saint-Coeur-de-Marie School was still short a site coordinator for its breakfast program.

Having just moved to Saint-Damien, Catherine Rixhon took advantage of the opportunity to get involved in the community and do something positive for the next generation through her twin passions of cooking and gardening. She loved the experience immediately and saw that she would be making a real difference in the day-to-day lives of students. But she was far from done contributing! She reached out to an organization that funds community health projects and secured a grant for the school, which was then used to start an initiative known as “Projet Écolimentaire.” The objective is to make locally grown foods more available to students. Part of the funding went toward procuring new appliances and accessories for the school kitchen. The school already had a seed planter, courtesy of the Municipality of Saint-Damien, which meant that everything was in place to allow students in every class to plant, grow and harvest a variety of fruits and vegetables in their community garden. Potatoes, kale, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, garlic and bell peppers are among the plants they proudly tend.  



But what about potential food waste? No worries there! Catherine had yet another trick up her sleeve. She and seven other community recruits meet up twice a month to make and freeze healthy, delicious dishes like omelets, kale chips, muffins, breakfast cookies and smoothies to serve in the school’s breakfast program. It wasn’t long until parents were clamouring to join in on the fun. After all, helping out in the kitchen once or twice a month is easier for most than volunteering every day during school hours.  

When asked about why she decided to take the lead on this project, Catherine credited her own sustainability-minded values. She is determined to reduce the quantity of individually packaged foods served at the school and focus on locally grown items. “If you want to change society, I think you have to start by educating children,” she says. That is why she is committed to piquing students’ curiosity by exposing them to different combinations of fresh, healthy foods and encouraging them to talk about what they like and how each food is unique. In addition, twice a week, she delivers special announcements over the school’s PA system about healthy eating and the environment. It’s a great way to raise awareness about nutrition and food waste among students and staff alike. As a result, composting has gradually worked its way into the school’s routine practices.  

Even if she doesn’t consider herself to be a morning person, Catherine is delighted and honoured to be involved in the school’s breakfast program. “I’m always raring to get to the school in the morning. The breakfast program has put a little extra pep into my life!”