Salvation Army School Breakfast Program Has Powerful Impact on Hungry Children


salvationarmy_breakfastprogramMany kids are heading for school on empty stomachs. This isn’t something you would expect in one of the best places in the world to live. But, it’s reality. Canada’s financial crisis and recession has left families torn apart by increasing financial demands.

Food is an important basic need that countless Canadian’s struggle with. In many cities Salvation Army programs are seeing large numbers of people visit their food banks on a monthly basis who would otherwise only seek assistance at Christmas. And its programs that feed breakfast to elementary and high-school students are serving longer line-ups and twice the number of kids. And, it’s not just an increase in numbers—the children seem to be hungrier.

In Thunder Bay, Ontario, the work of The Salvation Army began in 1893. In the early years, social efforts became part of the church ministry. Food and clothing were distributed to the poor. This vital family services work continues today.

A breakfast program operated by The Salvation Army at St. James Elementary School provides nutritious hot or cold breakfasts to hungry children three mornings a week. Studies have shown that students who are fed are more alert, develop greater self-esteem, have better attendance and academic achievement, and fewer discipline problems.

“The program not only has a powerful influence on a child’s physical health, but also their social and emotional health,” says Gail Kromm of The Salvation Army. “They have better relationships with their peers. We notice that bullying and name calling stops and the children enjoy each others company. Often the children just want to chat with staff about their weekend or what is going on in their lives.

“Milk is real hit with the children,” continues Kromm. “Many of them don’t get any at home. Another part of the program the children love is when it is their birthday. They pick the breakfast menu for that day and get a candle in their meal. This simple gesture means so much to a child whose parents can’t afford a home party.”

The Salvation Army is not only a church. It is Canada’s largest non-governmental direct provider of social services, delivering assistance to people in need. Last year The Salvation Army served 2.6 million meals to the hungry.

Hunger is an everyday reality for thousands of Canadians. Food needs are immediate and real. Food security is getting worse and it isn’t just a problem for the homeless.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Community based drug treatment program supports at risk youth

At-Risk Youth Reach for the Stars, Not for Drugs


Before Deena (not her real name) entered a Salvation Army community-based drug treatment program she used daily, struggled with anxiety and depression, and did not have a good relationship with her mother. Today, Deena is drug free, coaching sports, working and is in university.

“The program fills a gap in the community to provide local supports for youth involved with or at risk of being involved with the justice system and/or who have experienced negative life circumstances that include drug use, […]

Red Cap anger management program helps school children handle their emotions

Anger Management Program Helps School Children Handle Their Emotions


It is common for children to have difficulty controlling their emotions.

Nicole, 11, got in lots of fights at school. Lindsay, 13, pushed people. Today, with help from The Salvation Army’s Red Cap anger management program in Dartmouth, N.S., they have developed appropriate responses to anger-provoking situations and have confidence in their ability to control their emotions.

“I feel better,” says Nicole. “Red Cap helped me stop fighting or walking out of class because I was mad. I don’t do that anymore. […]