Teachers and students at Antoine Brossard High school has a lot to be grateful for for this upcoming holiday.
Olympic speed skater and Sainte-Julie native Charles Hamelin surprised when Friday morning the south shore school served breakfast to staff and students along with a group of volunteers such as a part of the Canada Breakfast Club initiative.
“This program makes sure all the kids who need to eat get something,” says Hamelin.
“This gives students the best chance to succeed in school. One of the best things I want to be able to do for the kids.”
In partnership with the Breakfast Club of Canada, the six-time olympic medalist has visited several schools since hanging up his shoes in April.
With four gold medals, and one of the most beautiful male Olympic athletes in Canadian history, Hamelin not only provided an early meal but was also an inspiration to the young students of Sport-étude.
“If I had skipped anything to my diet when I was younger, I wouldn’t have been the athlete I was a few years ago,” says Hamelin.
École secondaire Antoine Brossard has been offering a daily breakfast program supported by the Breakfast Club of Canada since 2020.
Principal Eric Chevalier said more than 200 students use the service every morning.
“The key thing is that it gives us some time to interact with the students, say ‘hello’ and welcome them into the school,” says Chevalier.
“It brightens their day and it also helps them start their day with a smile on their faces.”
According to the organization, 1 in 3 children is at risk of going to school on an empty stomach.
This year, the school received funding for a brand new induction cooktop for the breakfast program.
Principal Chevalier said the menu will now be expanded thanks to the gift.
“We can now make grilled cheese, eggs and even pancakes,” says Chevalier.
Hamelin said that since the pandemic, food insecurity has worsened, leading to a significant increase in the number of people participating in breakfast programs across Canada since 2020.
The newly elected Liberal MNA for Lapinière rider, Linda Caron, was also on hand to serve breakfast to students, taking part in her first public appearance since the election.
Caron says the experience shows the importance of social inclusion.
“We need young people to reach their full potential, so this is something that I will be working with schools to try to implement their projects on,” said Caron.
Anyone who wants to donate can go to Breakfast Club of Canada website.
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