Since starting in term three the breakfast club has grown, with around one-fifth of the school’s 360 students taking part. Every Tuesday and Thursday the kids get access to a healthy brekkie before school, with hot and cold options currently being served up.
The program is funded by Shell’s QGC business and the food is sourced locally and prepared at Tara Hospital.
Mr Homer says there are obvious benefits to the program. It ensures country kids who have to be up and on the school bus early don’t miss out on breakfast. This means they’re not eating their lunches early, and they’re more settled and able to concentrate in class.
He’s also using the breakfast club to start a conversation with students about the importance of a healthy diet. He’s hoping they’ll take on information which will stick with them into adulthood.
“It’s multi-faceted. It’s not just about putting food in bellies,” Mr Homer said.
“It’s a long-term thing around educating kids, letting them know they can cook this stuff at home and encouraging them to talk to their parents when they go shopping.”
Mr Homer said they planned to have the school’s nurse talk to the kids about healthy eating while they’re having brekkie. At the breakfast club, kids are shown how to cook and prepare the food and talked through the different ingredients being used.
The club also gives high school students doing their Certificate II in hospitality the chance to get their hours up and get closer to completing their qualification. They take part in the program by helping to serve up the food.
So far the program has been a winner. There’s only one problem: the food is so tasty some kids are refusing to eat at home and heading to the breakfast club instead.
“Parents are even asking for the recipe, so we’re publishing it in the school newsletter.
“The hope is if we can educate the kids, as well as feed them, we might be doing ourselves out of a program.”