by Angela Norval
When you speak to Global Care Community Food Outreach Bundaberg co-ordinator Carrie Fischer, it is clear she is someone who understands what it is like to struggle.
Having endured a difficult childhood herself, Carrie has a clear and strong commitment to helping make things that bit easier for other families through their own tough times.
Global Care Community Food Outreach in Bundaberg is just one of the charities, through the support of Foodbank Queensland, that is helping Queenslanders in crisis.
Foodbank Queensland is the largest hunger relief charity in Queensland, working to rescue more than 14 million kilograms of food and groceries from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers each year.
This food is then distributed through a network of more than 250 Queensland front-line charities including Global Care Community Food Outreach.
CEO Sara Harrup said Foodbank Queensland had a vision of a Queensland without hunger.
“Sadly, 22 per cent of Queenslanders experiencing hunger are children and it is estimated that three children in every Queensland classroom arrive at school without breakfast,” she said.
“To support Queensland children who are going to school hungry and without proper nutrition, Foodbank Queensland runs a School Breakfast Program.
“Delivered in over 300 schools, this program provides fresh, healthy breakfasts to more than 29,000 children every week.
“We couldn’t provide nutritious food to as many hungry Queenslanders as we do without the ongoing support of local organisations and the community.”
Foodbank Queensland has an excellent support network of member charities and schools that help them fight hunger across the state by providing nutritious breakfasts to children going hungry.
In Bundaberg, Global Care Community Food Outreach assists in supporting 15 School Breakfast Programs, providing nutritious breakfasts to children in the local community experiencing hunger.
A mother herself, Carrie said she couldn’t imagine having to see her children go hungry, so was proud to give these children the opportunity to have food in their stomachs to start their day right.
“These children are faced with some quite troubling circumstances, so it makes such a difference to them to know there are people who are committed with providing them with good nutrition and a little fellowship over breakfast as the breakfast programs are often quite a social occasion,” she said.
“We really noticed the difference that these breakfast programs made to the children when we went into lockdown during Covid-19 and were unable to have that regular contact, so it is wonderful to be back seeing them face to face and knowing they have a regular meal ready to start their school day.
“It is amazing the amount of food that is needed whether milk, bread, cereal or fruit to ensure these children are fed at schools around the region so the support of Foodbank Queensland and Second Bite is so beneficial.”
Sara echoed Carrie’s feelings, highlighting that when a child went to school hungry and without proper nutrition, there was much more at stake than just an empty tummy.
“Their entire education can be put at risk,” she said.
“A nutritious breakfast is proven to help kids focus and learn, increase their attendance and performance at school, and improve their physical and mental health. That’s why our School Breakfast Program is vital for so many kids whose families are struggling to put food on the table.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets children up to concentrate, learn and be at their best; but unfortunately, not all children are able to start the day with breakfast at home.
“Foodbank Queensland’s School Breakfast Program aims to give Queensland kids an equal start in life to help them reach their full potential.”
Through the School Breakfast Program, their low cost groceries shop and food hampers, Global Care Community Food Outreach Bundaberg is making a real difference in the lives of so many and welcomes the help of anyone interested in becoming a volunteer.
For more information phone 4303 0200 or visit them at 140 Elliott Heads Road, Avenell Heights, on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursdays.