We are very fortunate to regularly receive fruit, snack, cheese sandwich and food hamper donations from two organizations, FoodBank (through their Breakfast Club program) and Eat Up. Apples, oranges, Messy Monkeys and fruit cups are put out into all our learning spaces for students to help themselves when they need an extra bite to eat. Cheese sandwiches are made into toasties for students for their lunches, when and if needed. I thank the parents who come in each week to help put the fruit out as well as cut it up for our students. Having healthy snacks available gives our staff the opportunity to also talk about the importance of good nutrition so that our students are able to learn to the best of their ability in the classroom as well as be physically alert and on the ball. Staff will often grab a piece of fruit to munch on, this role modelling good eating habits.
The Foodbank website has quite a number of recipes and other resources for parents to take a look at. These recipes are not only healthy but will not break the bank. Take a look!
I am aware that there are many families across Victoria who are struggling with the rising cost of living and paying the rent. Some of these families are part of our school community. In the last 12 months over 540,000 households in Victoria went hungry due to lack of funds, sometimes skipping meals or going whole days without eating. Over 365,000 children lived in severely food insecure households. Interestingly, over half of food insecure households in Victoria had someone in paid work (data from Foodbank Hunger Report). These are sobering statistics about our state. If you need food support, or other support for you and your children, please do not hesitate to reach out. I regularly receive food hampers for families. There is also a mobile market of fresh and perishable foods coming up in November – I have 30 invitations to give away.