Posted in Chaplaincy
World Food Day, established by the United Nations, is celebrated annually on October 16th. This year’s theme is Family Farming: ‘Feeding the world, caring for the earth’.
Despite the world producing enough food to feed everyone, according to Oxfam, 842 million people around the world still go hungry. This is 1 in 8 people and incredibly, 80% of those people are involved in food production.
Often we think about third world countries, but many families in Australia struggle to get food and this can negatively affect the social, emotional and education outcomes for the children in these families.
And our school chaplains are doing what they can to help.
The 2013 CensusAtSchool survey, which included 23,745 responses, found that on average, 14.8% of school children in Australia skipped breakfast. In Queensland, 15.9% of school children skipped breakfast on the day they took the survey. The results were released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in September last year.
One way chaplains work to address this, is by facilitating Breakfast Clubs. Community volunteers and local businesses support Breakfast Clubs, which enable chaplains to serve over 150,000 students breakfasts each year.
Here are stories from some of our chaplains who run Breakfast Clubs:
Chaplain Julie Hose, Morayfield State School: “Our school is in a low socioeconomic area, and we identified a real need for some of our children with families who are struggling, so we realised that a breakfast program could be a way to help children and families.They come along and don’t just get their breaky for free – they pick up five pieces of litter and that’s payment for breaky, with an intention not just to give the kids a hand out, but a hand up.”
Chaplain David Sedwell, Riverview State School: “My Breakfast program runs two times a week at Riverview State School. It is a very high needs community, so we love putting on a good breakfast for the kids. I’ve had a team of volunteers come in and actually run the breakfast and fruit programs. It’s an absolute privilege to have them as part of the school community. One, they get to connect with the students and, two, it allows me to get out and about, sit down with the students and actually enjoy breakfast with them to find out how their day has been and to find out what’s going on in their life.”
Many of us are grateful today to be in the position of having easy access to an abundance of food. May we use this position to help those without in any small way we can.