We want to help give children the best chance at
reaching their full potential
What We Do
As many as 20% of school age children in the Turks and Caicos Islands are not having breakfast before school. This affects their mental and physical development, their concentration and ultimately their overall academic performance and future earning potential.
There are currently about 4,000 children attending public schools in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Our Breakfast Programme, which provides free breakfast every school day to all the students at the primary and secondary schools in North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos and Salt Cay. There are approximately 380 children in these schools. We also have our Food Bank Programme that operates in the remaining public schools, which you can read about in the next tab.
With the start of the Breakfast Programme in September 2016 the teachers quickly reported that they saw an improvement in the students’ attention, focus and attendance. The menu was designed to provide these young students with a nutritious and balanced breakfast so they are able to make the most of their morning classes.</p.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic our schools have opened via online learning platforms, which means Food for Thought has had to amend its usual breakfast programme. Instead of providing breakfast ingredients to be prepared each morning at school, Food for Thought is instead providing ready-to-eat breakfast items to be sent to students at home so that they can better concentrate in the more difficult setting of a virtual classroom.
- Vitamin D enriched whole milk
- Fresh fruit cups
- Whole-grain cereal
- Granola bars
Join our Food Bank
Due to the success of our Breakfast Programme Food for Thought has expanded its reach by including Breakfast Boxes that will provide breakfast items to the nine government schools not currently receiving our daily breakfast.
We will subsidise the Breakfast Boxes to provide enough for just 20 children at each school so we ask the community to help fill the boxes by donating items from our shopping list below.
Preferred Shopping List
(Approved by Grace Bay Medical Centre)
- Nut/grain bar
- Peanut butter (Smuckers Natural preferred)
- Instant oatmeal
- Instant grits
- Wholegrain cereal
- Dried fruit
- Fruit/nut trail mix
- Long life milk (chocolate milk accepted)
Drop off your donations at the following locations:
- Savory & Co., in Regent Village
- Graceway Sports Centre, behind IGA
- Bark + Bliss, Neptune Plaza, Grace Bay
- BCQS at Saltmills, Grace Bay
- Department of Education, Town Centre Mall, Downtown
Why We Need Your Help
The latest Turks & Caicos Islands Poverty Assessment Survey in 2012 showed that 16% of households live in poverty. Households with children accounted for over half of those poor households.
It also showed that 60% of households have problems paying for at least one essential household expense, including food.
Many families simply cannot afford to provide proper nourishment for their children. Not only is the earning potential of children likely to be hindered due to the difficulty to learn if not properly nourished, but the cost of loss of production to the economy is substantial.
It is our obligation as a community to ensure no child goes without breakfast and is able to learn and develop.
Here are some statistics from Unicef in 2013:
- Well nourished children are 13% more likely to be in the correct grade at school, boosting lifelong skills
- Malnourished children are 19% less likely to be able to read a simple sentence aged 8, and 12% less likely to be able to write a simple sentence
- Children who are malnourished go on to earn 20% less as adults than the children who are well nourished. However, there is some evidence that the difference could be even larger, one study has estimated this earning deficit for malnourished children at 66%
- Malnutrition perpetuates poverty by reducing the potential of individuals to lift themselves out of poverty. Good health and jobs break the cycle of poverty and ensure that every child gets a chance to thrive
- Estimates suggest that in low- and middle-income countries, the impact of malnutrition could decrease GDP by between 2% and 11%.