Minister of Youth, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo??

Minister of Youth, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, has lauded the YWCA’S South District Breakfast Club, noting that it was more than a feeding programme, but an avenue to inspire volunteerism and educate parents on how to create thrifty, yet nutritious, meals.????????

The breakfast club was launched today at the South District Methodist Church,?? South District, St. George, and will officially begin operations on Monday, January 11.??

While observing that a child who went to school without breakfast would experience low concentration and energy levels, and would be irritable, she said the club would also illustrate, to the children and families who benefitted, that society did care about them.??

"It helps us to combat a certain lethargy that we are now trying to fight in our society… When we start with this generation, to feed them, to share with them, they realise that this society does care for them.?? It then becomes easier to talk to them about giving back to society and to volunteer in years to come," Minister Byer Suckoo suggested.????

The Family Minister, who also made a personal donation to the club, urged parents not to abuse the programme, noting that they needed to be educated on how to make thrifty meals for their children.

"They may not be able to afford the sugary cereals or waffles and pancake mixes and so they will tell you that they cannot afford breakfast.?? There are other ways in which we can feed our children without having to spend that much money," Dr. Byer Suckoo stated.????

According to President of the YWCA, Marilyn Rice Bowen, the breakfast programme had been overwhelmed with requests since its launch in January 2007, and she revealed that this year it would partner with various Parent Teacher Associations to reinforce the importance of breakfast and to reach more children in need.??

"We are cognisant of the fact that we are only scratching the surface, but we will continue, and through the formation of partnerships we will offer this programme wherever it is needed," she said.??

Also making a donation of two blenders and two toasters to the newly formed club were Francis Gentilim and Joan Huffman of the American Women’s Club.?? A financial donation was also presented by Chairman of the St. George South Constituency Council Office, Ruall Harris.

Since its launch, when the club fed approximately 30 children daily, the programme now feeds 700 children per day.?? The children-focussed programme which operates under the theme "Saving Today’s Children for Tomorrow’s Future", serves children at seven schools and reaches other children through churches involved in the programme.??

The breakfast club is assisted with donations from Purity Bakeries, Hanschell Inniss Ltd., Super Center Ltd., Barbados Dairy Industries Ltd., Alamac Trading Company Ltd., Newcastle Plantation, Roberts Manufacturing Company Ltd.?? and SBI Distribution Inc.??lbayley@barbados.gov.bb

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