Hillcrest’s breakfast of champions

William and Mia eating toast

By Paul O'Rourke

Hillcrest Primary School breakfast club has fed close to 40,000 students over more than a decade.

Fifteen to 20 students drop-in daily for toast, Milo, fruit and muffins in an enduring partnership between the school, Devonport Chaplaincy and Loaves and Fishes Tasmania.

Some of the first breakfast club members are now in paid work or finishing their university studies.

Canteen manager Lyn Aherne, who has been with the school 12 years, said the breakfast program was at least 10 years old and had run continuously, five days a week during the school year.

Breakfast club is a joint initiative of the school, chaplains employed by Devonport Chaplaincy, and Chaplaincy’s sister organisation Loaves and Fishes Tasmania who provides all the supplies.

Lyn Aherne

“Without the support of Loaves and Fishes, we wouldn’t be able to provide this service to our school community,” said Lyn, who is joined by the chaplain, teacher aides and other volunteers to keep the toast popping.

Hillcrest’s breakfast program is also one of 10 sponsored this financial year by Hydro Tasmania through a $10,000 grant to Loaves and Fishes.

Breakfast club is open to all students who arrive in spurts during a frantic 25 minutes before class. Some arrive bleary-eyed with bed hair and clutching soft toys, signing in at the servery in the gym before placing their food order and taking a seat with their friends.

The club is as much about the social interaction between students and students and volunteers, as it is about food, and there is an ease and familiarity within the group.

Loaves and Fishes supplies breakfast foods to 60 primary and high schools statewide, baking muffins and preparing pancake mix in the organisation’s Devonport kitchen for distribution statewide.

Keisha and Dakota