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12,000 reasons to smile

Breakfast club can feed more kids, thanks to generous British donation

The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Breakfast Club feeding programme is in a better position to deal with the influx of children coming forward, thanks to a Barbadians organization based in Britain.

This morning, the Barbados Cultural Organization (BCO), through its chairman Cedric Lynch, presented the non-governmental organization with a cheque for £4,000 –– approximately BDS$13,300.

Lynch said the funds were raised through the BCO’s annual cricket extravaganza and annual dinner.

“One of [the family members] of one of our members brought the case forward to us to support the Breakfast Club and it went down overwhelmingly. We are focusing on kid’s charities here in Barbados because they [children] are the future. We acknowledge things like single parent families and a little bit of poverty in between there; so every little thing helps.

“We looked at this one as the one designated for this year and the other one is the Sunshine School in Perry Gap, St Michael. We are going to adopt the Breakfast Club for at least three years and we will see where we go from there,” he told Barbados TODAY.

YWCA president and coordinator of the Breakfast Club, Andrea Taylor, noted that the organization was feeding over 1,200 children in the mornings in a number of locations across the island and that demand was steadily increasing.

“Over the last three weeks we have had two requests from two schools wanting to be a part of the programme. Although we were maxed out to the point where we were not going to [take on] any more, we responded to their request and we grew by a further 35 persons.

“We are seeing children coming to Breakfast Club that we would not have seen before coming in. The demand is there and the children are coming. That is why this donation is timely in that we now have that extra capital to work with. Without corporate Barbados, sponsors and volunteers, the club can’t function,” she said.

The Breakfast Club first started in 2007, at the time serving about 25 children in one location. This number has since burgeoned with six satellite feeding centres and 18 affiliated schools across the island.

Meanwhile, Taylor said the YWCA was equipping itself to deal with any fallout the recent spate of retrenchments within the public sector was liable to have.

“We will [be putting] steps in place to be proactive and not reactive . . . . That is why we would have revisited our menu because if before we could have served three proteins with the influx of children, we would have to revise our menu to make sure that with the increase of children that we are flexible enough to make sure we have a proper menu we can accommodate more children coming in.”

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