As is the case most mornings at Nollamara Primary School, a team of faithful volunteers led by chaplain Jody Rynski, have prepared breakfast for hungry school kids and sent them on their way, ready to start their day.
On this particular day, a TV crew had come down to film the club in action, leading to extra excitement around the canteen.
It’s a familiar story across hundreds of state schools with chaplains coordinating breakfast clubs across WA, serving 350,000 meals in 2017.
“It creates a friendly space where a sense of community is built,” Jody said.
“Each morning parents, students, staff and volunteers come together and connect before the school day begins and this has really become embedded in the culture of our school. It’s now part of the daily routine, and they love it.”
Increased demand has seen it expand to every day of the week – feeding up to 70 students each day. More than 7,000 breakfasts were served at Nollamara last year.
Principal Natalie Tarr said the program had an “amazing” impact on the school community.
“We certainly do have children that need to be given more food than what is available at home in the morning,” she said.
“A good breakfast just starts off their day well, enables them to be settled when they head off to class and aids with their thinking.
“Just as important is the social aspect. Students sit down at tables, chat to each other and experience the variety of foods that are available for breakfast.
“We also have staff rostered to talk to the children in the morning and just get a sense if there are any issues - a nice adult they can have a chat to in the morning.”