Hannah More Primary school in St. Phillips in Bristol gets a weekly delivery of food from FareShare South West, which they use for a whole range of activities in the school. We went to visit them during breakfast club to speak to the staff, parents and children who go along, and asked them what they like best about their breakfast club and how it makes a difference to them.
Lily Moeketsi the breakfast club co-ordinator is there setting up when I arrive, Lily has been part of the breakfast club since they started getting FareShare deliveries and tells me;
“We have 40 kids a day come to the breakfast club, but we also use FareShare food throughout the school, for after school club, in our nurture room and for our parent and toddler groups, so it makes such a difference here.
We find it helps the whole family – the mums come along and get to meet each other, and it helps with kids who struggle with the transition from home to school. It’s easier to come to breakfast club, eat and play and then the rest of the day isn’t so daunting. One girl who was anxious about coming to school came along and it really helped. She was much happier about coming to school.”
The children start arriving and it’s clear they’re ready for breakfast, all getting in line to choose what they want. Lily continues after greeting them:
“We get foods that the kids wouldn’t normally get to try, like mango and smoothies that are very expensive for parents. It doesn’t matter if the children don’t like it, at least they’ve had a go! The food is great because it’s not just cereal and toast and we get a good variety every week.”
I’m introduced to a group on the nearest table who’ve just settled with their breakfast. They have a mixture of cereal, toast and fruit. Eli and Keijah are brothers. Eli, the younger of the two lets me know he’s been coming since he was in a buggy. Keijah tells me whilst he diligently cuts up Eli’s toast.
“I’ve been coming since I was in reception, I like all breakfasts and playing games, and on Fridays we get hot chocolate!”
Lily comes back to see how we’re getting on and let’s me know some of the foods the kids have liked most.
“There’s been lots of stand out foods, the kids loved it when they got chocolate cereal which was a really big treat for us. Another time we got beetroot juice that was really fun, everyone said they wouldn’t like it, but most children tried it and lots said it was really nice!”
Shadae and Ruweyda tell me they love toast, and dancing and having hot chocolate on Fridays too. Then Ashley comes to join us on the table with her cereal and says:
“I’ve been coming for ages now, I’ve got Rice Crispies today but my favourite is fruit. I love banana, plum, orange and strawberry”
Soon after, Ruth Cochrane, Community Development Worker at the school arrives with tea, and we get chatting. Ruth says
“It’s a free drop in, so it’s win-win. You don’t have to pay or book on so it’s less formal, you just turn up and it makes it fun, the kids think “Yay! Breakfast Club!” and it helps the parents get here on time too.”
Furdawa and Felis, two of the mums who’d brought their young ones along agreed, Felis says “The kids are always excited to go and it means they want to leave on time for breakfast club, now they say “Come on mum, we need to be on time it’s breakfast club!” instead of the other way around.”
Tia another mum who’s been coming for two weeks says “He’s really enjoying it! It’s lovely to have something to eat here and they get to run around outside, it’s really gets them set up for the day”
Ruth also adds “We run a parent toddler group after the breakfast club, and we recently got real coffee and Yorkshire Tea for them, which was so much nicer than the cheaper brands the school could normally afford”
“It makes a big difference because we can put money back into other services like the parent and toddler group. It means our after school club is free, and it keeps school trips really cheap for everyone.”