Getting the school day started with breakfast

Eric McCarthy
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PROFIT’S CORNER -- It’s just minutes before first bell and the breakfast area at M.E. Callaghan intermediate School is already cleaned up and emptied of students. “They clean up after themselves. They know that
s part of the deal.,” says Barbie Barbour who has been coordinating the school’s breakfast program for most of its seven years.

A half dozen volunteers take turns helping to prepare the breakfasts which are provided to students free of charge every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

On this particular day volunteers are serving up green and red pancakes - same taste as ever but dressed up for Christmas.

Usually at least 70 students drop by for breakfast but attendance explodes on pancake and sausage day which comes around once a month.

Regular fare includes toast, juice, cheese, milk and chocolate milk and sometimes Smoothies which help ensure students get some fruit intake. From time to time, the volunteers also try to supply exotic fruit that’s not normally consumed locally. Students, she said, seem excited about trying new foods. They serve bagels, too, but volunteers cut way back on them on pancake day.

Federal funding for the program has been cut out this year and that is limiting the number of times the program can supply fruit and smoothies.

The program recently received a $2,500 contribution from Tignish Credit Union and $250 from Tignish Co-op, bit is still shy of the $4,400 that it cost to run last year.

Barbour is a firm believer that breakfast helps students perform better at school. She is welcoming additional support for the program and invites anyone interested in become a breakfast program volunteer to call either her or the school.

Organizations: Tignish Credit Union, Tignish Co

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