Victoria government logo

School Breakfast Clubs program

Offering free and healthy food for students in 1000 Victorian government schools.

About the School Breakfast Clubs program

The School Breakfast Clubs program seeks to address the impact that disadvantage can have on education outcomes by offering free and healthy food for students in 1000 Victorian government schools.

Research shows that a child's ability to concentrate in class, self-regulate and learn is negatively impacted if they are hungry. It has been reported that the rising cost of living makes it increasingly difficult particularly for low-income families and families living in poverty to provide enough healthy food for all the family each week.

Building on the success of the 2016-19 School Breakfast Clubs program, which began implementation in 500 Victorian government primary schools over 2016, the expanded program seeks to further support Victorian students and their families.

The Victorian Government provided $58 million to deliver the expanded School Breakfast Clubs program in 1000 Victorian government primary, secondary, P-12 and specialist schools in Victoria over four years from 2019-2023.

The Victorian Government has continued its partnership with Foodbank Victoria, the Victorian branch of Australia's largest food welfare agency, to deliver the program.

The program will include:

  • delivery of healthy breakfasts in 1000 Victorian government primary, secondary, P-12, and specialist schools
  • provision of nutritious lunches and home food supplies targeted to students in need
  • delivery of cooking classes for families at 100 disadvantaged schools.

How schools are selected

The 500 schools that participated in the original program were invited to continue their involvement.

Eligibility for the additional 500 schools has been determined using the Student Family Occupation Education (SFOE) index data. This provides an accurate measure of disadvantage and is consistent with the approach of the 2016-19 program.

Invitations to eligible schools were sent over between Term 3 2019 and Term 4 2020, and places to eligible schools were confirmed on a first-in first-served basis. The program is currently at capacity at 1000 schools and a waitlist is in place for schools that are interested in participating.

For more information about the School Breakfast Clubs program, and to view an interactive map of participating schools, visit the Foodbank Victoria websiteExternal Link .

Guidance for schools to deliver the School Breakfast Clubs program during COVID-19

Delivery of the School Breakfast Clubs program on-site should always follow the guidance in the school operations guide (education login required)External Link .

The program must remain available to those who rely on it while adhering to restrictions and minimising health and safety risks for all staff, students and families.

The following measures can be implemented to ensure the School Breakfast Clubs program is delivered safely on-site:

  • ensure that enhanced hygiene and food handling practices are carried out
  • make sure students wash their hands with soap and water before and after entering the School Breakfast Clubs site
  • where possible, limit the number of staff and/or volunteers supervising the program and ensure they maintain appropriate physical distancing
  • where possible, use a large space for running the program, which makes it easy for staff and/or volunteers to maintain physical distancing, and students to eat in smaller groups
  • for information on facemasks, refer to Health and Safety adviceExternal Link .

Cooking classes program

Learning about healthy nutritious food supports students to develop the skills, knowledge and habits they need for growth, learning and development and happy, healthy lives.

The cooking classes program aims to support families to learn new skills in cooking, food safety and meal planning, with a focus on the daily consumption of the five food groups recommended for good health.

The cooking classes will be delivered at 100 schools across the state by June 30 2023. Classes will take place once a week for four weeks in participating schools. All families in each of the eligible schools are invited to participate, and up to 10 families (approximately 1-3 students and 1 parent) will be selected from each participating school to take part.

All classes will be delivered in a COVID-safe manner in line with current health advice.

To ensure school communities can continue to access cooking classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, Foodbank Victoria may, in limited situations offer schools the opportunity to participate in cooking classes online, if they cannot be delivered face to face.

Expressions of interest to participate in the cooking classes are sent to schools by Foodbank Victoria. Eligibility has been determined using the Student Family Occupation Education (SFOE) index data.

Reviewed 25 July 2022


Was this page helpful?