Hungry students

The increasing number of Hills students being sent to school without breakfast is an issue which should alarm our community.
Kickstart for Kids (KSFK), a charity which provides food for school breakfast programs, has issued a call for donations in the wake of a significant increase in the number of SA schools needing to feed their students before lessons.
Nearly 30 Hills schools run KSFK breakfast programs, meaning hundreds of the region’s children are going to school hungry every day.
There are a number of reasons why children might be sent to school without eating – drug and alcohol abuse in the home, poverty or poor bahavior on behalf of parents or their children.
But the fact remains that the child starting the day without breakfast is the victim and it is a sad indictment that schools are having to pick up the pieces for what is a basic parental responsibility.
Breakfast need not be an expensive meal.
What it does take is a little time and some basic organisation.
Sadly, these skills must be beyond an increasing number of parents.
Poor eating patterns can impair adolescent development, while eating breakfast has been shown to improve behavior in the classroom.
A morning meal has been linked to increased feelings of alertness and motivation which can result in better academic performances.
It is well established that education is one of the keys to escaping the poverty cycle, and if a child isn’t even getting the basics at home before they get to school, they’re facing an uphill battle from the moment they wake.
It is admirable that teachers, school staff and outside organisations are banding together to help give students the best start in life – but it should not be their responsibility to feed other people’s children.
Teachers and their support staff have enough to do without adding catering to their list of responsibilities.
It would not be a surprise if some parents were taking advantage of the generosity of others and selfishly view the provision of breakfast for their children at school each morning as a reason not to bother.
The problem is not likely to go away in a hurry so if you can help either KSFK or your local school, the assistance would be greatly appreciated.