Better breakfast, better start: belairdirect teams up with Breakfast Club of Canada

Breakfast is considered one of the most important meals of the day. This is especially true for developing youth of today. With 60 per cent of learning happening in the morning, it is no surprise that students who arrive at school hungry are at a disadvantage. On average, students who miss breakfast lose about 132 minutes of learning each day. Over the course of a school year, that equates to four months.

This is where Breakfast Club of Canada plays an essential role as a national organization, dedicated to offering children and youth an equal chance to succeed through its Canadian school breakfast programs. The immediate impact of a healthy and nutritious breakfast has shown that students who attend breakfast programs have improvement in skills such as independent work, initiative, conflict resolution and class participation. Breakfast is brain food, and a balanced meal in the morning helps with behaviour and concentration, as well as social skills.

belairdirect is proud to partner with Breakfast Club of Canada as experts in this field, and in early 2018 we announced a three-year signature agreement and $1.5 million donation. This contribution will provide support for existing programs, as well as allow Breakfast Club of Canada to support three new programs in areas of greatest need which opened this year in Victoria, BC; Toronto, Ontario; and St. John's, Newfoundland. belairdirect will also assist the Club with an applied research initiative on child poverty to raise awareness and educate Canadians on this issue that affects too many Canadian youth.  

One in five Canadian children lives in poverty, a rate which has steadily been on the rise since the 90s. That means that close to 1 million Canadian students are at risk of starting their school days on empty stomachs.

Annually, the Club touches the lives of many students:

  • More than 35 million breakfasts each year
  • 220,000 students every school morning
  • 1,643 programs across Canada

That’s a lot of toast, cereal and milk!

Going beyond the partnership, belairdirect wanted to make a difference first-hand in the lives of children participating in the Breakfast Club programs, so they worked with the Club to develop a national volunteer program. As of this fall, each belairdirect office has developed a relationship with a local program and has “Adopted-a-Club” where employees volunteer in nine schools across the country.

Confronted with the surprising statistic that one in five Canadian children live in poverty, we decided to focus our efforts here. Giving is a two-way street and helping in our communities is part of who we are as an organization. “Our goal with this partnership is to contribute to improving the lives of Canadian children and relieve some of the pressure on their families. Breakfast may not end poverty, but it’s a powerful step forward in ensuring Canadian youth are given equal opportunities to reach their full potential and succeed in our communities”, said Jennifer Beck, Senior Consultant, External Communications, belairdirect.

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