CJF’s Fight on Malnutrition Starts in Surrey

Beginning school year 2016-2017, Children’s Joy Foundation has been a main donor of nourishing daily meals (breakfast and lunch) at LA Matheson Secondary School and Senator Reid Elementary School.

The students from both schools come from low-income families. When these students attend school without any food in their stomachs, it hard for them to concentrate which often leads to fights, high absenteeism, and low interest in learning.

Since CJF initiated the Daily Free Food Program, the students are more relaxed, happy, and are able to mingle and make new friends. Below is a report given by both schools.

LA Matheson Secondary School 2016-2017 Report

Breakfast  program
Breakfast  program
Breakfast  program
Breakfast  program
Breakfast  program
It keeps you awake because if you don’t eat breakfast you feel sick all day and you can’t concentrate.Tatiana, Gr 11, LA Matheson
Eating keeps your energy and you can focus on your work. If you are hungry, you can’t learn.Shafilah, Gr 12, LA Matheson
I have been at LA Matheson for 17 years, and while we had snacks, we have only recently been able to offer full meals and it has made such a difference! The students are calmer now and they seem more relaxed knowing that we have food for them when they need it and they don’t have to go hungry throughout the day. Even being able to have an excuse to check in with me and say hi, really helps reduce their anxiety.Youth Education Coordinator, LA Matheson
LA Matheson Secondary School is a high needs inner city school with just under 1,400 students enrolled. 30% of our students are learning English as a second language, 20% come from low income households, and 24% are from single parent homes. Many cannot afford to provide breakfast or lunch. When students do not have food, it is hard for them to concentrate, they argue or fight with others, they are absent more often and their learning is compromised. With funding from Children’s Joy Foundation we have been able to launch a complete, nutritious breakfast and grab and go lunch each day at our school. We know that if vulnerable students can rely on a warm breakfast and complete lunch at school that they will feel a sense of stability and support. Students are more relaxed, happier, they make friends, they are motivated and prepared to go to class and learn throughout the day. Meal programs are key to student learning and life success and are one of the single most important things we can do to help students overcome the poverty cycle.
Breakfast is served at two different locations on Campus in order to best reach students. Many teenagers don’t consider breakfast important, are not in the habit of eating breakfast or are unable to eat breakfast at home. In order to make breakfast quick and each, we serve breakfast at two locations in the school. Roughly 30-35 come each morning, but they jump from site to site as each location serves a hot breakfast twice a week. LA Matheson Secondary School students could conceivably have a hot breakfast four days a week if they want it. Many of our breakfast students arrive a bit late when it’s quieter as they struggle with anxiety or have something going on in their lives, and it helps them to have a quiet space to transition from home before heading off to class.
With the generous financial gift from Children’s Joy Foundation, 30 highly at risk students at LA Matheson are now fed and supported throughout each school day. Students are having more success in the classroom, getting more involved in school activities and most importantly they are not worrying about where their next meal is coming from. We hope you will consider supporting our students in the 2017-2018 school year.

Outreach Worker $19,032
Breakfast Food $6,039
Grab and Go Lunch $5,056
TOTAL $30,127
Children’s Joy Foundation $13,095
Surrey School District $17,032
TOTAL $30,127
Breakfast is important because it keeps you healthy.Your stomach hurts and goes grumbly if you don’t eat breakfast. Cheese is my favourite because it has a lot of protein.Chris, age 8, Senator Reid
Breakfast is important because there are three meals in a day and you don’t want to starve.Ranaya, age 6, Senator Reid
Breakfast is yummy. If you don’t eat you get really hungry and you get distracted. You can’t listen in class.Zayed, age 8, Senator Reid
Eggs. Bacon. Toast. I like all breakfast! If you don’t have breakfast in the morning, you feel all tired and sloppy.Brooklyn, age 9, Senator Reid

Senator Reid 2016-2017 Report

Breakfast Club
Breakfast Club
Breakfast Club
Breakfast Club
Breakfast Club
Senator Reid Elementary School is in a working low to middle class area of Surrey. Many families here live in rental suites (43%), and work multiple low paying jobs; there is a large community of low average family incomes (23.63%), high transiency (52.4% moved within previous 5 years), high numbers of single parent families (15%) and high numbers of students who speak a language other than English at home (48.5%).

The purpose of having a breakfast program is to assist the many students that attend Senator Reid Elementary School who come to school without eating breakfast in the morning. When children do not have food, it is hard for them to concentrate and they feel grumpy but don’t know why. We know that if students in need can expect a nice warm breakfast every school day that they will be excited and ready to learn and feel a sense of stability and support that they don’t always feel. Students became more relaxed, happier, they made friends, they were motivated and prepared to go to class and learn throughout the day. Breakfast is key to student’s learning and life success.

“Eating breakfast is a sign that the day has just begun and that good things can still happen.” Jonathan Goldstein
Each day 40 students arrive for breakfast between 8am-830am. They often stay after they have finished eating until the bell goes to play games with their friends, or in warmer weather, head outside to play. The school identified these students as not eating breakfast in the morning, due to their behaviour in class, conversations with the students and their families and their academic performance. There are many single parent families in the neighbourhood who struggle to make ends meets; the breakfast club is a huge support for them as they know their children won’t go hungry throughout the day. Students begin to trickle in just after 8am, and there is always a mix of cheese, toast or a bagel, jam, fruit and vegetables. A hot breakfast is served at least once a week of eggs, waffles or pancakes.
We at Senator Reid Elementary School want to thank Children’s Joy Foundation for their generous support in helping us run a breakfast program each morning; it has had the following positive impacts in the 2016-2017 school year.

  • Participating students are ready, able and motivated to learn when they get to class
  • Participating students are calmer and more focused in class
  • Participating students are speaking up more in class and are more engaged in their learning according to their classroom teachers
  • Students are making new friends Students are healthier and happier

When children are nourished their grades improve, their health improves, their emotional stability improves and they are set on a path to success. We want to thank Children’s Joy Foundation for making all of this possible! We couldn’t do it without your generous support of our students and hope that you will consider supporting our students in the 2017-2018 school year!

Outreach Worker $9,516
Breakfast Food (fruit, veg, eggs, cheese, toast, etc.) $8,052
TOTAL $17,568

Children’s Joy Foundation $9,095
Surrey School District $9,516
TOTAL $28,611
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