When I think of a school breakfast program, I visualize a child sitting at a table eating a bowl of whole grain cereal, a crisp red apple with a cold glass of milk. What I cannot see is the reason for which this child attends the program. Hunger is my guess; however, a school counsellor gave me a different viewpoint.
You see, her client, "Clara" [not her real name], suffers from an anxiety disorder. The thought of going to school has always been a struggle. Simple things like meeting people, getting on a bus, walking and entering the school causes feelings of unease and sometimes panic. As a means for coping, Clara attends her school breakfast program, enjoys a piece of toast, a fruit and yogurt and prepares for the next phase of her day… getting to class. For Clara, the breakfast program represent a safe place to fuel up, calm down and collect her thoughts to gently move into class mode; and for this, she is thankful!
~ From Julie T, a coordinator for the student nutrition program at Algoma Family Services.
Algoma Family Services (AFS) is a mental health organization that oversees the delivery of the Student Nutrition Program in Algoma.