Breakfast Club sees 600 students per week, leaving us with 80 cents per student. Can you help?

The cost of living in Sydney has risen to great heights and families are struggling. Many families are going to multiple grocery stores to get the best deals and often compromising on freshness & quality of food so that they can afford to feed their families. In 2023, over a third of Australians struggled to afford food according to Foodbank Australia. And things keep getting harder, with families that have never before needed support coming forward to get food assistance.

An important part of our work is our Breakfast Club, that runs every school day at Cranebrook Neighbourhood Centre, to help struggling families feed their children before they start school for the day. Our numbers have increased dramatically this year, with over 600 children attending our breakfast club each week. Due to these extremely high numbers, our current funding only stretches to a budget of 80 cents per child to feed them.

We are scrambling to stretch our funds, with careful spending and creative use of limited donations. The local schools recognise the difference the Breakfast Club makes to their students, and we work closely with them, for example by providing our bus to pick up low attenders and those that have difficulty attending.

This has increased those students’ attendance from 40% to 99% which is incredible.

We try to provide lunch and morning tea for those that don’t have it, and perhaps more importantly, we create a safe space and relationships, so students know where to go to get support. We also walk the primary school students to school after attending our Breakfast Club to ensure they get to school safely.

We usually run with about 3 workers doing various jobs, making breakfast, doing activities and luckily have support from volunteers such as JK Williams who make about 60 loaves of bread into sandwiches for the toasties.

They toasties are a crowd favourite with the children and they do a great job filling them up before they start their day at school.

We feel this is one of the most crucial groups that we run, ensuring children are getting a proper meal so that they can function properly and learn the best way that they can. It’s widely shown in the research that increasing attendance, along with ensuring that children are healthy, fed and ready to learn leads to dramatically improved outcomes for people. However, with the small number of staff and budget we have available, we are struggling, trying to give the children the healthiest and heartiest start to the day as possible.

We are calling out to business owners or businesses who may be willing to donate a commercial sandwich press or funds to go towards a sandwich press that can make many toasties at a time so that we can get food out quicker to the huge numbers of young people who attend breakfast club every day. Any other support is welcome, as well.

Do you know someone or are you someone who could help? Please get in contact with Julie Collins on 0400 772 117 or

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