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NEWS RELEASE · 27th September 2011
Ministry of Education
Students at Florence Nightingale Elementary school started their day off right this morning with a healthy breakfast to fuel their minds and bodies for another day of learning.

Students were served a healthy complete breakfast of banana pancakes with plenty of fresh fruit, yogurt, milk and juice in celebration of the Breakfast Clubs of Canada (BCC) program, which announced today that they were more than doubling their funding for B.C., investing more than $700,000 for the 2011-12 school year.

Who was in the kitchen equipped with aprons and spatulas? Children and Family Development Minister Mary McNeil, on behalf of Education Minister George Abbott; chair of the Vancouver board of education Patti Bacchus; and BCC president and founder Daniel Germain. All were shown the ropes by staff who run the breakfast program at the school.

This school year, it's estimated that BCC's investment will support breakfast programs in approximately 84 schools. About $58,000 will go toward schools in Vancouver, like Florence Nightingale Elementary.

BCC and the Ministry of Education have also embarked on a new, important partnership, which will ensure that funds from the breakfast program will reach the most vulnerable B.C. students, so they have access to nutritional breakfast foods in the morning.

BCC is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing services and funding to school breakfast programs in low-income neighbourhoods across the country. BCC works with individual and corporate partners all committed to the cause of providing breakfast for vulnerable students across Canada.

Programs like Breakfast Clubs of Canada complement government's $51 million CommunityLINK (Learning Includes Nutrition and Knowledge) program, which supports vulnerable children in all 60 school districts. CommunityLINK funding supports food and nutrition, academic, and social-emotional programs and services for vulnerable students.

Quotes:

Minister of Education George Abbott -

"We are committed to helping vulnerable children and their families in this province, and partnering with a non-profit organization like Breakfast Clubs of Canada will help us ensure that B.C. families are getting support when they need it the most."

"We know that students learn better when they have been fed nutritious breakfast foods, so this expansion and partnership is invaluable."


Minister of Children and Family Development Mary McNeil -

"Every student should have a chance to start their day with a healthy breakfast. I'm very pleased to see that a national breakfast program like Breakfast Clubs of Canada has decided to invest further in B.C. children."

"By working together, alongside the many other volunteer-run and donor- supported programs, we can reach more vulnerable children. I know they and their families appreciate the extra support."


Daniel Germain, president and founder, Breakfast Clubs of Canada -

"We never lose sight of our dream to offer every young person in this beautiful country a place that will nourish their mind, body and spirit, a place where they can count on a nutritious meal and the support to help them realize their dreams. For no matter where they come from, with our help, they can all be headed in the same direction."

Chair of the Vancouver board of education Patti Bacchus -

"Going to school with a full stomach is one of the most important things any student can do. This program not only helps students maintain healthy diets to keep their minds sharp, it also keeps students connected with their teachers and peers."

"Partners like CIBC Wood Gundy at Bentall, the Breakfast Clubs of Canada and other charitable donors provide an invaluable service to students from low-income neighbourhoods across our city. It is a great initiative that is making a big difference in our schools."


Quick Facts:

* During the 2010-11 school year, the Breakfast Clubs of Canada program served more than 16 million breakfasts to children attending schools in disadvantaged areas. More than 106,000 children benefited from a healthy breakfast in nearly 1,034 schools across Canada, 53 of which are in First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
* In that same school year, BCC served more than 525,500 breakfasts in 52 B.C. schools, benefiting an estimated 3,185 students.
* BCC takes a long-term, systematic approach to hunger by implementing and supporting community-based breakfast programs in a sustainable way. They deliver this by providing food, funding, kitchen equipment, training and management tools to breakfast programs across Canada.

Learn More:

* To learn about Breakfast Clubs of Canada, visit:
http://www.breakfastclubscanada.org/
* For CommunityLINK information, go to:
http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/communitylink/

Breakfast Clubs of Canada (BCC) is investing more than $700,000 into the province to support breakfast programs in approximately 84 schools this school-year. Currently, there are 19 school districts and one First Nations association in the province that have schools who are supported by BCC, with others set to join them this year. The districts that currently have schools supported by BCC for the 2011-12 school year are:

* Burnaby school district (SD 41)
* Central Okanagan school district (SD 23)
* Chilliwack school district (SD 33)
* Coast Mountains school district (SD 82)
* Coquitlam school district (SD 43)
* Langley school district (SD 35)
* Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows school district (SD 42)
* Mission school district (SD 75)
* Nanaimo - Ladysmith school district (SD 68)
* North Okanagan - Shuswap school district (SD 83)
* Peace River South school district (SD 59)
* Prince George school district (SD 57)
* Quesnel school district (SD 28)
* Southeast Kootenay school district (SD 5)
* Stikine school district (SD 87)
* Surrey school district (SD 36)
* Vancouver school board (SD 39)
* Vancouver Island West school district (SD 84)
* Vernon school district (SD 22)
* B.C. First Nations Schools Association