Expanded School Breakfast Clubs program

Restarting School Breakfast Clubs on site

As the staged return to an onsite learning environment begins, schools should restart the delivery of the School Breakfast Clubs Program on site. Delivery of the School Breakfast Clubs Program is an essential service for many students and families.

If you have any questions about delivering the School Breakfast Clubs Program during the transition back to school, email health.advice@edumail.vic.gov.au

Operational guidance for running School Breakfast Clubs

The Department has developed a Return to School Operations Guide (login required) to support schools returning to on-site schooling across Victoria.

The guide includes key operational information and advice in line with the advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer to help school leaders implement a successful return to onsite learning.

In line with the guide, some practical measures can be put in place to make sure schools can run their School Breakfast Club program:

  • Make sure that all students and teachers taking part in the program are well, and any students or staff with cold and flu like symptoms are sent home.
  • Make sure that all hygiene and food handling practices are carried out in accordance with the Guide and relevant advice from the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Make sure students wash their hands with soap and water before and after entering the School Breakfast Clubs site. For primary school aged children, hand hygiene processes should be supervised. If supplies for hygiene products are unavailable from the usual supplier, schools should contact cleaning@edumail.vic.gov.au
  • Where possible, limit supervision of the program to one or two teachers. If volunteers (including parents) usually support the program, they're permitted to attend schools for this purpose. Make sure volunteers follow school protocols in relation to external visitors and do not fall under any of the “at-risk” categories outlined in the Guide that would exclude them from taking part.
  • Schools may choose to provide “grab and go” options such as fruit, fruit cups, mini milks or lunch bowls for students, rather than a “sit down” breakfast.
  • If possible, use a large space for running the program. This can make it easy for teachers and supervisors to maintain social distance. Students can eat in smaller groups and, where possible, have tables discreet for each year level.

Cooking Classes

The Cooking Classes aim to support families to learn new skills in cooking, food safety and meal planning.

Cooking classes were put on hold in Term 2. However, as restrictions are eased, Cooking Classes will resume from Term 3. Schools scheduled to participate in Term 3 will be contacted by Foodbank Victoria to discuss the schedule and the engagement of families to take part. 

Foodbank Victoria will support schools to be ready for the program by visiting the school and checking the space and requirements in Term 2, ready for Term 3 implementation.

In line with the Return to School Operations Guide (login required), some practical measures can be put in place to make sure Cooking Classes are safe:

  • Facilitators will make sure that hygiene and food handling practices in Cooking Classes are carried out in accordance with the School Operational Guidelines and relevant advice from the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Any participant that is feeling unwell should not attend the class.
  • Parents/carers and students of different year levels are able to attend the school to take part in the classes. Foodbank Victoria will discuss the more specific practical elements of delivering the Cooking Classes with participating schools, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all participants. 

About the expanded Schools Breakfast Clubs program

The expanded 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 1,000 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 has continued its partnership with Foodbank Victoria, the Victorian branch of Australia's largest food welfare agency in Australia, to deliver the program. 

The program will include: 

  • delivery of healthy breakfasts in 1,000 Victorian government primary, secondary, P-12 and specialist schools
  • provision of nutritious lunches and holiday food supplies targeted to students in need
  • delivery of cooking classes for families at 100 disadvantaged schools. 

How schools are selected

The 500 schools already participating in the program have been invited to continue their involvement.

Eligibility for the additional 500 schools has been determined using the most recent 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 will be sent over Terms 3 and 4 2019 and Term 1 2020. A phased implementation rollout will begin with 125 schools each term over the 2020 school year, in order to reach the target 1000 schools by Term 4 2020.


The Victorian Government has committed funding of $58 million to deliver the expanded School Breakfast Clubs program in 1,000 Victorian government primary, secondary, P-12 and specialist schools in Victoria over four years from 2019-2023.

For more information about the expanded School Breakfast Clubs program, and to view an interactive map of participating schools, please see the Foodbank Victoria website