For the seveth year, the Hillcrest Breakfast program is providing breakfasts to its students, free of charge.
"The breakfast program happens at Hillcrest School everyday of the school year," explained Sara Pippus Community Education Liaison. "And we offer a full breakfast to all of our students, it`s a universal program. No one is singled out based on need or anything like that."
"We have community volunteers that come in to help serve everyday and we also have student volunteers now that come in on a schedule and help prepare breakfasts for their fellow classmates and schoolmates."
"We serve a full breakfast in terms of meeting Canada's Food Guide requirements. We serve everything from waffles and French toast and we always offer three or four kinds of fruit and vegetables. We have proteins like cheese and yogurt. We offer cereal everyday and then there's some kind of juice and milk."
She adds that the effects of the programs are easy to recognize.
"We always notice when students come in the morning, it's a nice way for them to get filled up and we always say that it makes an even playing field. Students who might not be able to have the opportunity for a full breakfast at home can come here and eat."
"We really find that during the day, especially in those afternoon hours, it really makes a difference to how well they can pay attention. We just don't have the same complaints and the same interpersonal concerns that we had before."
"We have lots of kids whose parents leave very early in the morning for work and it's a very convenient way for them to make sure they get breakfast everyday. And a lot of those parents actually donate to our breakfast program because they'd like to make sure that their kids are taking advantage of it but not in a way that reduces it for someone else."
The United Way provides a lot of support for the program.
"We are one of their Community Impact members. We are fully funded by the Untied Way for the portion of food for the breakfast everyday. In terms of food, the United Way has been supporting us for the last six years It's fantastic."
"Every year we make sure we have to provide for entertainment for the Telethon. It's a nice way to be able to showcase what we do here and just thank the United Way for all the support that they give to us and show the community exactly where United Way dollars are going."
She also mentioned that they are always looking for volunteers.
"We have some people who go south for the winter so we're always looking for volunteers to take their place once November, and cold weather rolls around."
Another way people can help out is providing a financial donation.
"The donations don't support any kind of salary, they all go towards making sure the kids have a good breakfast."
A tax receipt is provided for monetary donations.
"We're in our seventh year now and it's been an excellent way to show the students how much their community cares for them."
She adds that she appreciates all the support from the United Way, the community and local businesses who have supported them over the years.