Where When How — Summer 2017
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Bringing Breakfast Back
Rebecca Bird

Food for Thought charity seeks support to provide brain food for Turks & Caicos children - Every Donation Helps!

BREAKFAST IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF a healthy lifestyle and is often dubbed ‘the most important meal of the day’, particularly for children to ensure maximum brain development and reach their potential in the classroom. But sadly, as the cost of living in the Turks and Caicos Islands continues to rise many families face the daily struggle of providing a nutritious morning meal for their children.

Last year Providenciales sisters Jeanne and Karen Savory were saddened to discover that children across the islands were going without breakfast. They decided that it was something they simply could not ignore, and hours of research and discussions with school and government representatives followed. This led them to create Food for Thought, a charity aimed at providing breakfasts for children.

“Undernourishment affects physical and brain development and capacity to learn,” Karen said. “Education is so important for the success of Turks and Caicos and providing the kids with breakfast helps them learn”. Last September, with generous funding from both individual and corporate sponsors and the kind support of scores of volunteers, the breakfast programme was born.

For just $250 per child per year Food for Thought provides free nutritious breakfasts every school day to government primary school students. The breakfasts include a piece of fresh fruit, a glass of milk and either porridge with raisins, grits and an egg, a wholegrain cereal or a peanut butter sandwich. Volunteers at the schools in North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos and Salt Cay collect, prepare and serve the food to the pupils.

Jeanne said, “The charity is able to keep its cost low thanks to the generosity of its transport partners Caicos Express Airways, Lew 1 Shipping, and Cargo Express, and the outstanding people at Quality Food Centre who bring in the food items at cost, then allocate them into shipments for each school, and deliver them to the ports.”

“Our aim is for the next generation of this country to have every opportunity to succeed,” Karen said. “We started the programme in September 2016 and teachers reported early on that their children are more alert, focused and more engaged in daily activities and that attendance had increased.”

Support for the breakfast project has been overwhelming with more than $100,000 raised to date, including $12,000 from Partner Sponsor, Sotheby’s International Realty. But more is needed to continue to run and expand the programme and Karen and Jeanne welcome donations of all sizes. “It only costs about $20 per month for one child, so all donations make a big difference,” Jeanne said.
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