Something as simple as a wholesome breakfast shared with friends helps students feel a sense of belonging and encourages them to arrive, stay, engage and excel in the classroom.

Foodbank WA's School Breakfast Program

It is often a shock for people to learn that Foodbank WA runs a program of the size and scale of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and that so many children in WA are going to school hungry. Growing from 17 schools in 2001 to more than 440 schools in 2016, the program supports over 18,000 students, serving over 56,000 breakfasts and 22,600 emergency meals per week. Foodbank WA's SBP has become the largest operation of its kind in Australia.

The common catalyst for schools enrolling in the School Breakfast Program remains the same today as it was 15 years ago: identifying a core group of students arriving at school having had little or no breakfast. While the reasons for this vary greatly, low income, poverty, remoteness and lack of access to nutritious food make children and families vulnerable to food insecurity.

Foodbank WA supplies quality School Breakfast Program food products to registered schools free of charge, to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to receive a wholesome, nutritious breakfast every day. Non-perishable SBP products include canned fruit in natural juice, wheat biscuits, oats, Vegemite, canned spaghetti, canned baked beans and UHT milk.. Where possible (subject to availability) schools are able to access fresh produce, including bread, fresh fruit and vegetables and yoghurt.

While soothing a rumbling tummy is the most immediate benefit of the Program, the impact on students, teachers and the community is far more profound than could initially be imagined. The School Breakfast Program is improving the food security and nutrition of children living in disadvantage and providing them an equal opportunity to excel academically, emotionally and socially. The Program would not be possible without the generous support of Foodbank WA's government, corporate and philanthropic sponsors. These organisations provide funding so that Foodbank is able to purchase the breakfast food items and pay for the freight to deliver the breakfast product to outlying regional schools.


Impact on Students' Capacity for Learning

The 2015  School Breakfast Program Evaluation was conducted and reported on by Edith Cowan University and Telethon Kids Institute (Hill, Byrne, Devine, Miller & Cross, 2016). One area investigated was the positive impact on students' capacity for learning, with schools reporting  across three domains: schooling; personal and social capacity; and social and environmental factors. The following proportions of schools indicated that 'All' or 'Most' of their SBP students were positively impacted by the program in terms of:


  • Punctuality to school, start of day (78%)
  • Punctuality to classes, during school day (80%)

  • Attendance (63%)

  • Behaviour (64%)

  • Readiness for learning (79%)

  • On task concentration (73%)

  • Social skills (67%)

  • Productivity in classwork (71%)

Personal and Social Capability

  • Self-awareness (48%)

  • Self-management (51%)

  • Social awareness (35%)

  • Social management (58%)

  • Physical health (60%)

  • Increased physical activity (74%)

  • Calmness (61%)

Social and Environmental Factors

  • Health promoting environment of school (78%)

  • Social relations with SBP school staff (80%)

  • Social relations with SBP volunteers/community (74%)

  • Social relations with other SBP students (79%)

  • Overall school tone (climate) (82%)

To view the 2015 School Breakfast Program Survey Report in full, please visit the Research & Evaluation tab.

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