Tell us why you decided to become a Food and Friends volunteer and the impact the position has had on you.Mandy Morrison

"The classic stereotype of a volunteer is someone who has lots of time to spare and is looking for something to do. For me, this is not the case! Despite my busy schedule, I do my best to arrive early every Wednesday morning at the breakfast program organized by Chef Nicole at Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus.

When it comes to volunteering, not everyone is motivated by the same factors. Not only is it a great way to start your day, but I volunteer for a variety of reasons, including my desire to ensure children start their day well-nourished. As the oldest child of a shift-working single mom living on a tight budget, a healthy breakfast wasn’t always available and my sister and I often went to school hungry. Many years later, after obtaining a degree in nutrition, I recognize that students who are given a nutritious breakfast daily, make significant improvements in learning, school attendance, behaviour and self-esteem. The specific thing I like about the program at CWDHS is that breakfast is available to all students, thus alleviating any social stigma that may discourage children from participating in these breakfast programs. In fact, on any given day we can serve up to 600 students a healthy, balanced breakfast, giving them all a jump start on their day of learning.

I’ve been privileged to meet many wonderful staff and student volunteers who commit their time to provide a nutritious breakfast to students who might otherwise go without. For all of us, when you volunteer for a cause you believe in, motivation comes easy!"

Mandy Morrison,
Volunteer at Wake Up Wellington Breakfast Program
Centre Wellington District High School