With schools returning for the start of the year this week SecondBite’s support for school food relief programs will also swing into action after the summer break.
SecondBite works with several charity partners nationally that support more than 100 school breakfast and lunch programs across kindergarten, primary and secondary schools. In a typical year SecondBite provides food hampers, which include fresh fruit and veg, bread, dairy and protein items to its charity partners in both metro and regional areas. In the past 12 months we supplied more than 250,000kg of food for schools, distributed through our warehouses in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, SA and WA.
There is significant evidence that links consumption of regular nutritious foods to improved school engagement and concentration levels, and ultimately improved academic outcomes in children. We’re delighted to support our agencies who provide these programs; many children and teens might otherwise not have access to quality, nutritious foods without them.
Tarryn Lear is the kitchen coordinator at Hemmant Flexible Learning Centre in Qld. She prepares healthy meals from breakfast through to afternoon tea during term time for the Centre’s 90 students, from produce donated by SecondBite. She also runs a weekly cooking class to teach students simple, healthy meals to make at home.
The centre caters to high school students aged 13 and up who are disengaged from mainstream schooling.
The kitchen is set up in a homely style and Tarryn prepares meals based on the produce she gets from SecondBite. Breakfast could be baked beans on toast or toasties with a range of healthy fillings, while lunch might be a frittata or meat and vegetable-based dishes. Tarryn also prepares lunches for the students who do adventure-based learning, which entails activities outside the school.
During COVID lockdowns in 2021 the school community also delivered hampers of SecondBite produce to families who were experiencing tough times.
Tarryn said one of the best things about the food provided by SecondBite is its variety and diversity, some of which the students have never experienced before. “At first they might refuse to eat something if they’re not familiar with it, but when it’s cooked into a meal they often like it and ask for it again,” she said.