The Coalition for the Protection of Children has spearheaded efforts to ensure that underprivileged children in Bermuda start the day ready to learn through its “Breakfast for Every Child” program. In fact, for a number of children, our program provides the only consistent, full balanced meal they receive on a daily basis.
The CPC launched its onsite breakfast program at Victor Scott Primary School in 2007, after seeing the continually increasing need for food assistance for over a decade. In 2009, we expanded the program to three more schools, serving breakfasts at Paget Primary, Prospect Primary and Dellwood Middle School in addition to Victor Scott. In 2009/2010 we served almost 30,000 breakfasts.
The need for the continuation of the “Breakfast for Every Child” is increasingly clear with record numbers of low-income families staring into bare kitchen cupboards as food prices continue to soar. We have witnessed a three-fold increase in the number of families seeking assistance from the Coalition.
The Breakfast program in the schools involves two elements:
- Sit Down Breakfast
- Breakfast to Go
For children not able to come early for breakfast we provide “breakfast to go” which includes juice, fruit, a granola bar, and yogurt.
A sit down breakfast is served by our staff (and volunteers) beginning at 7:00 each morning. This includes cereal, milk, juice, fruit, and yogurt.
The impact of the “Breakfast for Every Child” program has been dramatic. At the end of the first year, test scores at our trial school, Victor Scott, improved across the board (as expected) but the amount of improvement was staggering. The results ranged from a 32% to a 67% improvement.
The Breakfast for Every Child program is essential to meet the growing demand for food assistance. We know, for example, based on the 2000 Census of Population and Housing that 50% of Black Female headed households with children live at or below the poverty line, and that was 12 years ago. Our best estimate at this point is that between 25% and 30% of black children in Female Headed households live in situations in which basic nutritional meals are not available to them on a consistent basis (as a result of poverty).
This contributes to students’ difficulty with learning as it is widely recognized that children must have sufficient diets in order to participate productively in school. Ironically, it is also a major factor in the growing levels of obesity across the island. This happens for two reasons: Firstly, not being fed on a timely and consistent basis creates a phenomenon that researchers refer to as “food anxiety.” This essentially means that when children do have access to food they will overeat because they are not sure when the next opportunity will arise. Secondly, the least expensive food for a family who only has a few dollars to spend is high calorie/high carbohydrate foods such as potato chips, chocolate bars and candy.
By providing one healthy, consistent meal for children each morning, the Coalition helps to address some of consequences of increasing poverty in Bermuda and help to ensure children receive the nutrition they require to grow, learn and become productive adults.
With your support, we can expand the
Program and reach more children in need
$50 will feed one child breakfast for a month
To Donate call 295 1150