Semiahmoo Family Place has added another day to their nutritious breakfast program, thanks to a financial boost from an unexpected source.
When executive director Laurel Tien saw a promotion on her Facebook feed for the Nutella Breakfast Table Fund last year, she decided to apply with no expectation of winning the funds offered to support community foundations offering breakfasts across Canada.
At the time, the not-for-profit organization was offering daily breakfasts for families in need during the week, but had no funding to be able to offer something on Saturday.
“We had wanted to start a weekend breakfast program for a long time, but being a not-for-profit, we weren’t able to find money for it,” Tien said. “So I fired off an application into the ring.”
The promotion, launched by Nutella in September, had more than 400 applicants. Of that number, 20 were selected – including Semiahmoo Family Place.
The family resource centre was awarded $10,000 to promote healthy breakfasts and organized a kick-off breakfast to celebrate the launch on March 9.
With the funding, the centre will host a Saturday breakfast once a month. The weekend meal features a bit more variety than the weekday offerings, including pancakes and waffles.
There is also a strong focus on education at all the breakfasts, Tien noted.
“Food is a big part of coming together, we have found it offers us another thing to give to new parents coming through the door. Whether they haven’t had a chance to think of themselves as they’ve been focused on children or if they’re reduced-income families, the breakfasts offer the really healthy opportunity to try something new,” she said.
Tien recalled one parent who had never tried yogurt. After Tien’s encouragement, the mom of twins tried some at a breakfast.
“She was getting really bored with oatmeal, and this provided that chance to try something new with no risk,” she said.
The breakfasts may also include a public health nurse who comes in and offers tips on creating a healthy breakfast right at home.
“This funding it has helped in so many ways,” Tien said.
For more information on the centre, visit www.semiahmoofamilyplace.com