Wade into breakfast program
TALK about a beat up. The media has nothing on South Grafton’s Tony Wade.
Yesterday, together with fellow South Grafton Bendigo Bank directors Ian McGaw and Merv Smidt, Tony whipped up enough pancake mix to feed 300 hungry students at the South Grafton High School and expects to be back again next year to cook breakfast for 350.
The massive breakfast yesterday was held to mark the second anniversary of the Bendigo Bank breakfast program at the school, a program started after the school’s principal Brian Heath – another of the bank’s directors – told board members about 50% of the school’s students were arriving at school without breakfast.
Fifty per cent of those also went without lunch, and the board decided that, as a community bank, it should help meet the nutritional needs of students.
The program provides 90 to 130 breakfasts a day, with a menu including low sugar cereals, toast with a selection of condiments, at least two types of fruit (supplied free by Farmer Lou’s in South Grafton), orange juice and Milo.
Grafton’s Harvey Norman store provided cooking equipment so students arriving for breakfast could cook themselves some lunch.
Mr Heath said the program was an enormous success that was well supported by students, school staff and the wider community.
It also had a range of social benefits, with some students using it as a meeting place. But it was also a place where students could recognise they were part of a wider community that supported them.
Mr Wade said a similar program was being considered for Maclean and the bank was keen to help where it could.