BALLARAT High School student leaders Poppy Ball and Sophie Kurzman say the seemingly simple gesture of offering a good breakfast can make a big difference for students' learning.
Ms Ball and Ms Kurzman said while some teenagers might not value eating breakfast, there are students who do not get the option.
Ballarat High is ready to officially launch its school breakfast program, funded by the state government to expand into secondary schools. While home learning has impacted delivery, the school has still been able to package foods for students most in need.
A roster full of staff and student volunteers is ready to start dishing up breakfast and lunches when class is back at school next term.
Ms Ball likened the program to creating a "safe bubble" for students in just knowing a healthy meal was available.
Ms Kurzman said it was great to have the broader school community caring and supporting a vital program.
Breakfast is such a simple gesture that would mean a lot to some kids because they know it's going to help them for the rest of the day.Sophie Kurzman, Ballarat High year 12 student
"I know I can wake up and have my avocado and eggs on toast each morning but some kids don't get that opportunity and I don't think they realise how critical even a simple meal at the start of the day can be for their learning," Ms Kurzman said.
"With exams approaching for us, I know we really need to be setup for the day and even returning to school you definitely need to be able to last a whole day.
"Breakfast is such a simple gesture that would mean a lot to some kids because they know it's going to help them for the rest of the day."
Oranges are Logan Attard's favourite fruit on offer. The Little Bendigo Primary School captain said good fuel was important to having a good day at school.
You're getting a bit of a break, getting a bit of fruit and back on to what you were doing before.Logan Attard, Little Bendigo school captain
"It's real good being able to have that choice of having fruit in working time," Logan said.
"It's gives you a bit of a break to get your head around the work as well, not doing all the work in one massive session. You're getting a bit of a break, getting a bit of fruit and back on to what you were doing before."
Wendouree MP Juliana Addison virtually met with student and staff leaders from both schools for a breakfast program update on Monday afternoon. This included a check-in with Foodbank Victoria chief Dave McNamara.
Ms Addison, a former teacher, said healthy meals help students concentrate and the program helped ensure every child had a chance to thrive at school.
Already at Ballarat High and Little Bendigo, staff are reporting stronger connections, including between teachers and students.
Ballarat High School had tried a school-run breakfast program in the past but school counsellor Holly Blackburn said this had not proved feasible for staff trying to juggle sourcing food with other school duties.
Ms Blackburn said the streamlined, easy process of working with an organised program had been really positive and offered assurance enough healthy food would be available.
The $58 million program will offer breakfast, lunch and school holiday supplies to 1000 schools this year.
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