Canadian Olympians Meaghan Mikkelson and Charles Hamelin delivered treats and school supplies to Langley Meadows Community Elementary Friday to kick off Breakfast Clubs of Canada program.
The school was selected from 196 Canadian schools on the breakfast club wait-list to receive support for a new daily in-school breakfast program.
Mikkelson, a three-time women’s hockey Olympic medallist, and Hamelin, Canada’s most decorated male Winter Olympian, a five time medallist and the flag bearer at the Beijing Games, were happy to take part. Both are parents who understand the value of proper nutrition and the impact on young bodies.
This is the third school Mikkelson has visited to let them know that they are getting the breakfast club program.
“It hits very close to home and it’s so close to my heart,” she said about hunger. “It hurts my heart to think of potentially sending my child to school hungry.”
She and Hamelin lauded the teachers who received a special breakfast courtesy of Amazon.
Hamelin’s two-year-old is already being impacted by the people teaching her at preschool He and he shared special memories of his childhood education.
“It’s not right for the kids,” he said about going to school without having eaten. “They need everything they can have to have the best future for them in life, and it begins with breakfast.”
The in-school food program is a partnership between Breakfast Clubs of Canada and the Langley School District Foundation.
“Having visited breakfast clubs and meal programs across this district, I have seen the benefits firsthand,” said Alicia Rempel, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation.
The foundation has devoted special attention to student hunger in recent years.
Breakfast Clubs currently supports 273 programs in this province alone but the need continues to grow. The program has seen a 23 per cent rise in attendance over the past year.
“One statistic that always surprises me is that there is one in three children at risk of going to school on a empty stomach,” Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese.
He added that it’s good to see a company like Amazon Canada support children. Froese said was amazed at how the world has changed – he ordered a toy helicopter for his nephew’s birthday in the morning and Amazon was dropped off on the doorstep in the evening.
“It’s really nice for me to know that a little portion of what I paid Amazon to drop this toy helicopter on my front step, by the way my nephew is turning 50, a little bit of that money is doing for this,” Froese commented.
City Mayor Val van den Broek said she looks forward to this partnership growing.
“We definitely know that children cannot learn if they don’t have food in their systems,” she said.
Friday’s announcement included a delivery of supplies for school use. Amazon is helping fund the food program at Langley Meadows and also created a wish list of items that the community supported. Staff opened boxes to find hi-liters, muffin tins, kitchen gadgets, healthy snacks and more.
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