The Marshall Liberal Government’s commitment to improving school performance will continue through a $800,000 funding injection for two of the largest providers of school breakfast programs operating in South Australia.
Foodbank and Kickstart for Kids will each receive $400,000 over the next four years to continue to deliver their breakfast programs and expand them in government primary schools across the state.
The funding will allow both Foodbank and Kickstart for Kids to increase their food supply and levels of volunteer support to ensure adequate services are available to the schools that need them.
Around 330 schools across the state already benefit from the breakfast program provided by these providers.
Premier Steven Marshall said the Government’s investment will help schools to meet the needs of more children more often when it comes to starting the day with a full stomach.
“This announcement fulfils the Government’s commitment to provide a breakfast program to every school that needs one,” said Premier Steven Marshall.
“Too many students across South Australia fail to meet their academic potential because they come to school hungry.
“We know that children who consume a healthy breakfast each day are more likely to perform better at school, and this funding ensures that these important programs are extended to more South Australian children.”
Education Minister John Gardner said the funding will ensure that more children receive the benefits of the program.
“The expansion of these breakfast programs will ensure that more children will have a healthy start to their day, where they are provided with an adequate meal to fuel them to pay attention in class, think clearly and concentrate on their learning,” said Minister Gardner.
“The programs will also encourage children to learn about the recommended consumption of important food groups such as fruits and vegetables.
“Health and wellbeing are a critical precondition to a child’s educational achievement and learning.
“Breakfast programs introduced in a range of South Australian schools in recent years have led to better student educational outcomes as well as health and wellbeing.”
Kickstart for Kids Founder Ian Steel said the organisation will now be able to reach many more schools.
“This funding will allow us to provide many more breakfasts to kids who need it, while providing more product to our breakfast programs,” said Mr Steel.
“The link between breakfast and education outcomes is proven fact, and this funding will enable us to grow our footprint across South Australia and help more children achieve better educational outcomes.”
Foodbank CEO Greg Pattinson said the funding will go a long way to closing gaps.
“In South Australia, close to 1 in 4 children are experiencing hunger, with more than 1 in 10 parents saying their children go a whole day a without eating at least one day a week,” said Mr Pattinson.
“Having breakfast has been shown to have a positive impact on factors such as physical and mental health, social skills, concentration, behaviour, attendance and academic outcomes.
“In the past 12 months alone, Foodbank SA has supported over 400 school programs by providing more than 165,000 kgs of food directly to schools in SA, as well as providing Kickstart for Kids with over 70,000 kgs of fresh fruit and bread to make sure even more schools can access fresh food and supplies for their breakfast programs.
“We want to give children an equal start to life, and this funding will enable us to expand our school breakfast program to more students that need it.”