‘In a country like Australia where food is readily available I was blown away to learn how many families are struggling to feed their kids,’ said Jules.
As a mum to Hudson, six, and Archer, four, Jules is intent on making sure her children are well nourished so it was all the more devastating to learn that so many were dealing with food insecurity.
‘There’s so much stigma, embarrassment and shame around this issue but it’s more common than we think. Your husband could lose his job or your car could break down and suddenly you find yourself struggling financially.’
As an ambassador for Sanitarium’s Good Start Breakfast Club, Jules visited one of the 2000 breakfast clubs operating in schools throughout the country to see firsthand how the company has partnered with Foodbank Australia, Kickstart for Kids and the Australian Red Cross to supply 10 to 15 million servings of Weetbix to vulnerable kids since the club started in 2001.
‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and these clubs are serving a nutritious meal in a warm, inviting environment where everyone is chatting and laughing and knows each other. The volunteers know the kids’ names and how they like their cereal served and their toast cut. They’re really invested in these kids and making sure their morning – and their lives – are better.’
With teachers reporting that the average student loses more than two hours a day of learning time when they arrive at school hungry, the program is not just the solution for hungry tummies but an investment in children’s learning.
As Sanitarium’s nutritionist Trish Guy points out: ‘Children who regularly don’t eat breakfast are actually missing out on a number of key nutrients they need each day for good health such as iron, calcium, zinc and fibre.’
Jules became involved with the program to help raise awareness and encourage parents to be honest about their struggles so they can receive help. ‘Life can knock you out for a week or a couple of months. It’s not embarrassing, it’s just a moment in time, and with warmth and encouragement it can be OK.’
For more information go to: www.weetbix.com.au/breakfastclubs