By Katherine Harvey-Pinard
According to the Breakfast Club, more than a million children arrived at school hungry before the pandemic. For the upcoming school year, the organization expects that number to rise to two million. The Club is therefore launching its back-to-school campaign “so that all children can start their school days by recharging their batteries”, he wrote in a press release.
It would therefore be one in three children, rather than one in four, who will go to school without lunch.
“Back to school is usually synonymous with excitement among students and represents an opportunity for a fresh start,” says Club general manager Tommy Kulczyk. However, for some children and their families, the possibility of running out of food due to the pandemic is a source of major concern. ”
In this context, the organization appeals to the generosity of Canadians to support its network of schools and local organizations.
“We need to find creative collective solutions to nurture the younger generation in this time of crisis. If we fail, their physical and mental health may be affected in the long term and even permanently. Thus, hunger reduces children’s cognitive faculties, for example their ability to concentrate and memorize information, in addition to affecting their ability to regulate their emotions, ”explains dietitian and mother Lindsay Pleskot.
A new spokesperson
The Breakfast Club has announced the arrival of author and radio host Valérie Roberts as spokesperson for the back-to-school campaign.
“I believe so much in the work that the Club has been doing for 25 years!” says Mrs Roberts. It’s crazy to think that there are still children who don’t have access to a good breakfast every morning. ”
The Emergency Fund launched by the Club in March in response to COVID-19 has helped provide food to more than half a million children in recent months by supporting more than 1,000 local schools and organizations across Canada.
In preparation for the start of the school year, 120 clubs have resumed service. In order to respect physical distancing and limit manipulations, a cold menu will be served in class.