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Over 30,000 Red Cross Breakfasts Served In Schools

NEWS RELEASE

 

5 May 2008  

                                               

Over 30,000 breakfasts served in first year of Red Cross Breakfast in Schools

In the past year, over 30,000 breakfasts have been served as part of the Red Cross Breakfast in Schools programme.

Thursday 8 May marks the first anniversary of Red Cross Breakfast in Schools. The programme, supported by Countdown supermarkets, is offered to all decile one primary schools in New Zealand at no charge.

In the first year, 24 schools from across the country have adopted Red Cross Breakfast in Schools and are giving their students the opportunity to start their learning day with a healthy breakfast.

Red Cross Breakfast in Schools national programme manager Patrick Cummings says the programme was initially launched following research which showed that some children were going to school hungry.

“There are Kiwi kids arriving at school hungry, and as a humanitarian organisation that aims to address vulnerability, we took action to target a real need.  I said 12 months ago that ideally New Zealand Red Cross wouldn’t need to take up this breakfast challenge but the results speak for themselves,” says Mr Cummings. 

“Participating schools are reporting back that children taking part in the programme are showing better concentration levels and are easier to settle in class. Results like this can only be positive in helping children achieve their learning potential,” says Mr Cummings.

Schools participating in the Red Cross Breakfast in Schools programme stretch from Whangarei in the north down to Nightcaps in Southland.

In supporting the programme, Countdown supermarkets provide the breakfast food which includes cereal, toast and a hot drink. New Zealand Red Cross is responsible for the administration of the programme and assists with recruiting and training volunteers.

Mr Cummings says volunteers play a vital role in the programme as they are responsible for the preparation and serving breakfast in each school.

Since the launch of the programme over 100 volunteers have registered to help but Mr Cummings says every time a new school adopts the programme a new team of dedicated volunteers is required.

“Our volunteers are vitally important to the success of the Red Cross Breakfast in Schools programme.  It couldn’t happen without them.”

Ends

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