THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Feeding Hungry Minds
We all know that hungry children cannot learn effectively. Many learners who attend inner-city schools – including Good Hope Seminary Junior School and St Mary’s Primary School – live a great distance away. They travel from outlying areas like Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Philippi, or Delft. This means children must wake early, often around 4.30am, to leave for the city by 5.30am in a minibus. This is often too early for them to eat, even if there is sufficient food for them at home. The hour-long journey is stressful, and educators have found that these children are hungry by 8am when they are expected to start learning.
The Breakfast Club was born to address this concern. In February 2016, with the full support of then-principal, Adrienne Millner, Aletta Ashmore (Learning Support Educator) and Patsy Bagraim (Shine volunteer) started up a pilot scheme to feed 75 Grade 1 learners at Good Hope Seminary Junior School. This scheme initially had money to feed these learners for just one term, but money kept coming in from generous donors. Within 18 months, up to 400 Grade R – 7 learners ate a healthy e’Pap and fruit breakfast on the school premises each school morning.
In 2019, we received a warm invitation from St Mary’s Primary School principal, Ms Sellar, her staff and Governing Board to bring the Breakfast Club to that school. Enabled by a specific generous donation, we did so with joy and were soon feeding nutritious breakfasts to over 200 learners there too.