A young student named James attends the breakfast, snack and lunch program at a local school in Guelph each day. He's the child who would also visit the student nutrition program at the end of the day and take home anything that was leftover from the day. One morning, James was particularly hungry and after eating his sixth mini quiche, he said to the program coordinator "I think I’m full.” She celebrated and replied "really, you are full?” James inquiringly whispered "I think so I've never felt this way before. I’ve never felt what full feels like.”
It is satisfying to think that for most of us, we get that feeling of full on a daily basis. But can you imagine living your entire life not ever understanding what ‘full’ feels like? It’s a feeling that most of us could never comprehend, and it’s heartbreaking to think that there are many children and youth in our community who feel this way on a daily basis. The impact that the student nutrition program has had on James’ life is heartwarming. James was the student who was in the office on a daily basis the year before for stealing other students’ lunches. Now, thanks to the daily nutrition program, James is happy to remain in class instead of the office and is able to better focus on his school work because his tummy is finally full.
Studies have shown that children who are hungry do not perform as well as others in school. Our Food and Friends programs give these children a positive start to the day, improve their learning abilities, decrease disruptive behaviours in the classroom, encourage positive social skills, and teach children healthy eating habits. We help children hunger for knowledge and not for food.