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Kids Eat Smart clubs provide solid start to day for students across Newfoundland and Labrador

Students and teachers from East Point Elementary School in St. John’s prepare to set off the TD Walk to Breakfast Wednesday morning.
Students and teachers from East Point Elementary School in St. John’s prepare to set off the TD Walk to Breakfast Wednesday morning.

You need fuel to run an engine. And when it comes to school children, that engine is their body.

In order to do that, the children need to start their day with a healthy meal.

“Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day,’’ Celina Stoyles, executive director of Kids Eat Smart Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador said from the TD Walk to Breakfast event held Wednesday at East Point Elementary School in St. John’s.

“The event today is a province-wide walk to breakfast. The students and teachers walk to the school for a healthy breakfast and in addition this creates awareness of the program,’’ she added.

Stoyles said there are 248 Kids Eat Smart clubs (KES) throughout the province and 27,000 meals are served each day to children in schools and community centres.

Educators have seen the benefit of the program and have said those who start their day with the proper fuel for their engines have significantly improved attitudes, behaviors and attention crediting the KES clubs with making this positive impact on each of their school populations.

To provide this service takes many hands and there are approximately 6,100 volunteers who do the leg work of the program.

“The volunteers go out and get the items, wash the fruit and pour the cereal,’’ she said.

“And the children who start in this program, some of them stay with us and come back later as volunteers.”
In addition to the volunteers, Stoyles said the program would not be possible without corporate support which allows each of these meals to be provided free of charge to each of these 27,000 students.

Each meal costs $1 and with the large number being served each day, the program can be expensive. That is where donors and sponsors come in.

“We have been very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers and generous donors, like TD Bank, who contribute financially to ensure children receive nutritious food at school. TD Bank has been supporting the Kids Eat Smart province-wide Walk to Breakfast for 12 years. We are truly grateful to them for their continuous support of this wonderful event,” Stoyles said.

For more information: www.kidseatsmart.ca.

samuel.mcneish@thetelegram.com

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