Bank sinks cash into food program

Foodbank SA Limestone Coast recently secured $10,000 of generous sponsorship funding from the Community Bank Mount Gambier and District Bendigo Bank towards its School Breakfast Program.

Bendigo Bank has sponsored the Foodbank School Breakfast Program since it began in 2013. The program provides students from 26 schools across the Limestone Coast with breakfast foods such as bread, fruits, spreads, milk and cereal. Bendigo Bank Branch Manager Tracy Koop said the community was fortunate to have Foodbank to provide food relief.

“It’s a need that’s in the town that a lot of people are not aware of,” Ms Koop said. “And we do it because all people in the district should be valued and should have equal opportunity. “So, anything we can do to help these people on the ground who do the hard work, we’re there.”

Foodbank Limestone Coast Branch Manager Lynne Neshoda said Bendigo Bank had been a great supporter of the Breakfast Program over the years. “Having the Bendigo Bank on board is just awesome,” Ms Neshoda said. “What they do in the community is amazing. “We just could not run the programs without our sponsors. “We are very grateful.”

Ms Neshoda said eating breakfast had many positive impacts on physical and mental health, concentration, behaviour, social skills, academic outcomes and attendance. She also said Foodbank received lots of positive feedback from teachers and wellbeing leaders who ran the program. “It helps settle the kids for school, it helps with their learning,” she said. “It’s not discriminative, any child can go to the breakfast program.”

The Breakfast Program has also been generously supported by NF McDonnell and Sons, who donated $10,000 towards the program earlier this year. Ms Neshoda said Ms Koop and the Bendigo Bank team had been very supportive of both Foodbank and herself. “It’s been a huge journey since we began here in the Limestone Coast,” she said. “We’re very lucky to have them as an ongoing sponsor.”

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