Advocate for the implementation of Foodbank’s ‘School Breakfast’ program at a school.» Essay Example
Advocate for the implementation of Foodbank’s ‘School Breakfast’ program at a school.»
Table of Content
3Food Insecurity among Australian Children.
4School Breakfast Program
5Impact of the School Breakfast Program
A food bank is defined as a non-profit making charitable entity established with a primary purpose of distributing food to individuals in the society who experience challenges to acquire such basic needs and thus mitigating the society against the possible dangers of hunger (Booth, & Whelan, 2014). In Australia food banks operate just like warehouses in that they collect, sort, store and distribute food via the use of small front line agencies. In Australia, more than 2000 charity organizations are supplied with food from food banks. Recent research done on food security in the country indicates that one in seven Australians faces food insecurity and that an entire population of approximately 650000 citizens in the country each month relies on foodstuffs supplied by the food bank. The face of hunger is very diverse. Charity organizations and community groups’ continue to offer significant assistant to the citizen in Australia in a range of ways to the unemployed populations and the low-income families enjoying the significant part of the benefits rendered. There is overall satisfaction by the beneficiaries of the food provided by the charities via Foodbank in the country. Recent research indicates there expression of relief, hopeful, positive and less stressed (Lawrence, Richards, & Lyons, 2013).
Food Insecurity among Australian Children.
Food security happens when the entire population at all times have social, economic and physical access to safe and nutritious food that is adequate to meet food preference and dietary needs. With this definition, food insecurity implies a situation when there is inadequate availability or access to adequate, relevant safe food that is culturally nutritious for consumption. It is estimated that at least 4.5% of Australian cannot access adequate food that is deemed safe and nutritious for human consumption. Among the groups of the population have endured experiencing the harsh challenges of food shortage in the country have been the marginalized communities such as the Torres Strait Islanders, Aboriginal and asylum seekers, the disadvantaged urban dwellers and the unemployed population of the nation (Barbour, Ho, Davidson, & Palermo, 2016).
Over the years food insecurity has been attributed to having been significantly influenced by the increasing cost of food that does not match with the income of the identified households. Children born in such regions where food insecurity is a real challenge may be at risk of behavioral and developmental problems and poor health. It is obvious that food insecurity may be dominant among the society that is disadvantaged in term of socio-economic aspects with children being the most affected as a result. The potential development of effects of food insecurity among children to nations like Australia is that during childhood, it may lead to serious negative health and social effects that may last for long. In Australia, as indicated earlier, food insecurity is a significant public health issue specifically among disadvantaged households who have children. The possible intervention and social and health policy targeting such groups of marginalized who endures poverty and food insecurity may result to far-reaching social and health consequences especially children which in turn will lead to an improved social and health outcomes up to their adulthood age. From my field visit to the Foodbank WA, I came to learn that every month food bank in the nation supplies the country with over 60% of the tool food agencies provided (Birch, 1975). Also, the general commitment of Foodbank in the nation is to ensure that every household and their children especially those considered vulnerable to food insecurity have access to healthy and nutritious food at all times. The vulnerable population are given priority in the program because they have little income to support themselves and their children if any.
School Breakfast Program
The school breakfast program are operational to both private and public schools. The primary objectives of such program is to ensure that students can access balanced food that are nutritional to their health. Also, the program aims at minimizing hunger and fostering good nutrition among adolescent irrespective of their background that is whether from the rich or poor background. Scientists in the field of food nutrition recommend that students who take breakfast records better scores on their test, depict better memory retention and learning skills and have reduced rates of absenteeism and slowness. For schools that have such programs in operation, they are likely to experience long-term educational and health outcomes specifically to children who are from poor backgrounds (Kristjansson, Gelli, Welch, Greenhalgh, Liberato, Francis, & Espejo, 2016).
In Australia, hunger is a crisis that is considered hidden with estimated 2.5 million Australian seeking relief food every year with a significant number of those suffering being children despite the recorded economic growth the country has recorded over the past decade. The development of School breakfast program initiative dates back in 2001 whereby the program started with approximately 15 schools. Today the more than 450 schools have enrolled to program with over 20000 students benefiting from the benefits of the program. The approximated breakfast being served every week escalating to over 60000. The School Breakfast program of Foodbank WA has developed to become one of the biggest food operation initiative of its kind in the nation of Australia (Barbour, Ho, Davidson, & Palermo, 2016).
Today approximately 15 years since its establishment the purpose of the program still holds that is recognizing the core group of school going adolescent who can afford little or no breakfast. While the reason behind this significantly differs, low income, remoteness, poverty and inadequate accessibility to nutritious food make families especially children vulnerable to the crisis of food insecurity were largely targeted. The initiative has worked exceptionally well in ensuring that at least all students have an equal chance to be provided with nutritious breakfast that is wholesome every school day. The working of the program has been simple. Schools are required to register with the Foodbank WA to be supplied with School Breakfast program food products that range from wheat biscuits, canned fruits, vegemite, oats, canned baked beans, UHT milk and canned spaghetti. Schools located near food bank enjoy significant benefit since they can access fresh produce. However, this is subject to availability of the produce otherwise all schools operate on the same platform regarding accessing the supplies (Barbour, Ho, Davidson, & Palermo, 2016).
The growth and development of School Breakfast Program have not always experienced steady growth since its commencement. At some points, the program stagnated due to a range of socio-economic issues that deterred its expansion like the underutilization of nutrition program despite the massive benefits and support it received from both the government and the public. Early efforts of the program focused considerably on increasing the number of schools since the majority of schools had no such operational program within their system. Efforts to bring more schools on board to integrate the program have been hugely successful. As more school joined the program, there has been a substantial increase in the number of low-income children who are participating in the school breakfast program. With time the gap between the schools that provides breakfast and lunch have narrowed; it has become increasingly important to reach out more school going children in each represented school as well those that are not yet registered.
Impact of the School Breakfast Program
Several research conducted have indicated that school breakfast program generates significant benefits about school attendance, nutrition, psychological function and academic performance. Hover there have been inconsistent recorded among the possible benefit that such programs generate possibly due to poor study methods and design and possibly confusing causation and correlation among factors by researchers. However, the benefits of this program have been overwhelming specifically to children who are from low-income families. The advocacy and policy arms of the Foodbank have initiated plans that have ensures awareness are raised and that the general public are full educated on the issues both national and state levels on concerns related to food security, agriculture, and nutrition that directly impacts on the population they offer services to them. This program has ensured that it receives massive support by educating the society members on the value and importance of attaining a nation that is fully food secured. Long term goal of the program over the years have been to form a collaborative scheme of development that will ensure that a national food system that is just equitable and accessible all population (Lindberg, Whelan, Lawrence, Gold, & Friel, 2015).
Most people find it difficult if not fascinating to understand that Foodbank WA used to run an initiative of the scale and size of the School Breakfast Program and that a significant number of school going children in Australia are still going to school with an empty stomach. The principal objective of establishment of the School Breakfast program still holds up to this date that is providing students who had little or no breakfast at home before commencing their daily school activities. Food insecurity in Australia is real, and the subsequent impacts of this crisis mostly fall on the vulnerable households with low incomes. Thus to school going student the establishment of the school breakfast program provide a great platform where they can be provided with basic food just like their counterparts who are considered well-off (Lindberg, Whelan, Lawrence, Gold, & Friel, 2015).
Food insecurity has remained and still will remain a substantial public health concern especially to nations like Australia where hunger is a crisis that hits the nation almost every year. Previous research conducted estimates that at least 4.5% of Australian cannot access adequate food that is deemed safe and nutritious for human consumption. This figure is devastating considering the economic growth the country generates each year. The groups of the population who experience the better part of harsh challenges of food shortage in the country have been the marginalized communities such as the Torres Strait Islanders, Aboriginal and asylum seekers, the disadvantaged urban dwellers and the unemployed population of the nation. While the government has directed efforts to reduce the crisis, still there is a lot that needs to be done by the country mitigate this crisis that keeps hitting the nation almost every year (Booth, & Whelan, 2014).
Barbour, L. R., Ho, M. Y. L., Davidson, Z. E., & Palermo, C. E. (2016). Challenges and opportunities for measuring the impact of a nutrition program amongst young people at risk of food insecurity: A pilot study. Nutrition Bulletin, 41(2), 122-129.
Birch, C. (1975). Confronting the future: Australia and the world: the next hundred years (pp. 304-305). Penguin Books.
Booth, S., & Whelan, J. (2014). Hungry for change: the food banking industry in Australia. British Food Journal, 116(9), 1392-1404.
Kristjansson, E. A., Gelli, A., Welch, V., Greenhalgh, T., Liberato, S., Francis, D., & Espejo, F. (2016). Costs, and cost-outcome of school feeding programmes and feeding programmes for young children. Evidence and recommendations. International Journal of Educational Development, 48, 79-83.
Lawrence, G., Richards, C., & Lyons, K. (2013). Food security in Australia in an era of neoliberalism, productivism and climate change. Journal of Rural Studies, 29, 30-39.
Leatherdale, S. T., Stefanczyk, J. M., & Kirkpatrick, S. I. (2016). School Breakfast‐Club Program Changes and Youth Eating Breakfast During the School Week in the COMPASS Study. Journal of School Health, 86(8), 568-577.
Lindberg, R., Lawrence, M., Gold, L., Friel, S., & Pegram, O. (2015). Food insecurity in Australia: Implications for general practitioners. Australian family physician, 44(11), 859-862.
Lindberg, R., Whelan, J., Lawrence, M., Gold, L., & Friel, S. (2015). Still serving hot soup? Two hundred years of a charitable food sector in Australia: a narrative review. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 39(4), 358-365.
Russell, J., Flood, V., Yeatman, H., & Mitchell, P. (2014). Prevalence and risk factors of food insecurity among a cohort of older Australians. The journal of nutrition, health & aging, 18(1), 3-8.
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