Main Navigation

Starting a breakfast program

Ideas for schools to assist in setting up their own breakfast program

Breakfast programs are usually set up in response to a school's concerns that children are starting the day hungry, which in turn affects learning and concentration in class.

A chart has been developed to help you think through if a breakfast program is an appropriate response.

A great way to help work out if a breakfast program is the best solution for your school, is to survey those who will use it and benefit from it. Parents, children and teaching staff can all be surveyed at your school.

When running a survey, simple online survey tools can be used. Try to ask questions, which find out the number of students who are coming to school without breakfast and why. School staff can be asked to provide examples of when and why students have come to school without breakfast.

After doing the surveys, it may be worth running an information session or focus group with parents, teachers and some students to examine more closely the need for a breakfast program.

Starting a breakfast program

Finding support for food and supplies

Start local

  • local bakery
  • local supermarket
  • local community agency


Be specific

  • 'We need …. per week, to be collected on a … by…'


Run a spread or cereal drive

  • seek permission to place a decorated box or supermarket trolley in the front office or staff room of a local supermarket or larger business, such as banks, city councils etc.
  • be clear about what you need. List varieties of cereal and spreads. Be specific that you only want UHT milk.
  • when running in-school drives seeking donations, make a request through the school newsletter that each family bring one item to add to the box. Hold a competition - the class that brings in the most donations gets to name or decorate the breakfast program.
  • with businesses, ask them to encourage each staff member to bring one item for donation.


Financial sponsorship

  • approach local businesses who have connection to the school
  • look for grants available through larger companies (banks, electricity companies etc.)
  • official partners - '…. School breakfast program proudly supported by…'
  • consider offering opportunities for volunteering within the program to staff of sponsor.
  • ask for a specific amount - calculate how much money you need to run the program per year, give a break down of cost in your request.


Benefits to the supporting business

  • helping children achieve their full potential
  • acknowledgements in the school newsletter
  • certificate for their business
  • local support for a local program.


Find out more about Red Cross Good Start Breakfast Clubs

Red Cross works in partnership with more than 200 schools nationally to enable the Good Start Breakfast Clubs to operate. Support for new schools is assessed by individual state and territory teams. We can usually provide a breakfast program start up kit and some local advice on where to start, however, resources can be limited to be able to start a whole new Club which involves trained volunteers, a range of healthy breakfast foods and linking in other programs which support healthy food access.

To find out more about partnering with Red Cross please contact your local State or Territory Red Cross office.

How you can help

Volunteer to help serve breakfast in a school near you. The role of volunteers is critical to the success of clubs. Contact Red Cross to find out about Good Start Breakfast Clubs in your region.

Support Good Start Breakfast Clubs with a tax-deductible donation.

Become a corporate sponsor.