Lismore Regional Mission's pastoral support assistant Evelyn Daley is flanked by volunteers John Mace and Lola Ingram ahead of a fundraising event to help school children start the day  with a good breakfast.
Lismore Regional Mission's pastoral support assistant Evelyn Daley is flanked by volunteers John Mace and Lola Ingram ahead of a fundraising event to help school children start the day with a good breakfast. Alison Paterson

Breakfast club gives school kids a good start

EVERY day 120 children across six schools in the Northern Rivers have a good breakfast thanks to the quiet achievers at the Uniting Church's Lismore Regional Mission.

LRMs congregation chair, Alan Hoskins OAM, said mid-2016, he and others were made aware of a genuine need to help provide many children in Lismore and surrounds with a daily breakfast at school.

"For a wide variety of reasons sadly, there are children in our community who have no access to breakfast,” he said.

"They head to school daily with empty stomachs, missing the simple breakfasts many of us take for granted and this obviously isn't conducive to healthy growth of youngsters nor energy levels, for learning and concentration and sport, in the classroom and throughout the day.”

Mr Hoskins said an independent initiative of teaching staff at Lismore Public School saw them commence a breakfast programme.   

"Now with the proactive support of Lismore Regional Mission and the LRM's Food Pantry, it has been expanded to five other schools, including Lismore High, Lismore Public, Kadina High, Richmond River High, Jarjum and Caniaba Primary.”

He said the LRM Food Pantry, a not-for-profit store, located in the CBD, behind Red Dove Cafe and staffed by volunteers selling discounted groceries, fruit and vegetables to those in need.

"The Food Pantry was started five years ago and is now also an approved partner agency, one of 520 agencies, of Food Bank NSW,” he said.

Mr Hoskins said stock is donated as surplus or items close to use-by date via several sources.

"These include Foodbank NSW, local businesses Coles Goonellabah, Aldi, individuals who regularly donate grocery items and garden produce and the Rainbow Community Garden donates surplus fruit and veggies.”

Tomorrow a fund-raising breakfast above the Red Dove Cafe, 80 Keen St, Lismore, will be held from 8am to 11am.

Tickets at the door are $10 with all profits going to the School Breakfast Program for supplies.  

Evelyn Daley, LRMs pastoral support assistant said people are welcome to turn up on the day.

"As well as breakfast and a guest speaker we have some lovely door prizes,” she said.


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