A recent study confirms that Canadians agree with the old adage “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
A recent poll revealed that 94 per cent of Canadian parents believe that having a nutritious breakfast is important in helping children succeed in school. Unfortunately, it appears that many children are not setup for success: 31 per cent of elementary school students and 62 per cent of secondary school students say they do not eat a healthy breakfast before school.
This disparity between a family’s understanding of the need for a nutritious start to the day and kids actually having one, highlights the importance of nutrition programs at our schools, say observers in this field. More than one third of parents say their child has participated in a breakfast, lunch or snack program.
“Westrive to help kids live up to their full potential and when children go to school hungry that just isn’t possible,” says Peggy Hornell, the executive director of President’s Choice Children’s Charity (PCCC). “Nutrition programs allow kids to focus on learning instead of on their hungry tummies – and the fight against childhood hunger has increasingly become the focus for PCCC,” she adds.
Canada is the only G8 country without a national school-based feeding program, according to a 2013 Conference Board of Canada study. Many nutrition programs are funded by corporate sponsorships and charitable organizations like President’s Choice Children’s Charity. Last year alone, the charity provided more than 2.5 million meals to 430,000 children through its partnerships with Breakfast for Learning and with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, who operate in thousands of communities across the country.
Children who go to school hungry risk lifelong consequences and development challenges, Hornell points out. By supporting not-for-profit organizations like PCCC every day, we can all make a positive impact on the lives of these kids immediately as well as long term.