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WA’s P&N Bank is proud to launch its inaugural Happy Bellies fundraising appeal which aims to support key community partner and local not-for-profit, Manna, expand their School Breakfast Program. The annual appeal will run from Monday 8 March to Thursday 1 April 2021.

Every week, Manna distribute 3,500 breakfast meals to primary and senior school students in areas of need throughout Perth. The food is provided to 36 schools for their breakfast programs which are run by the local school chaplains and P&Cs. Manna also assists the schools and their families with emergency food hampers for crisis relief.

The local community can directly assist local children and their families by donating to the program through this special fundraising appeal. Funds raised will help Manna achieve their goal of increasing the number of schools supported in 2021 from 36 to 48.

In the schools Manna supplies breakfast, over 50% of the schools’ populations are impacted by one or more of: family domestic violence, generational poverty, unemployment or substance use, all of which are the main contributing factors to poverty and homelessness.

In 2020, more than 50% of the Manna schools were unable to provide breakfast programs in their full capacity as a result of COVID-19. There were also more emergency food hampers being requested through the schools during COVID-19, as a result of financial hardship and increased unemployment.

Manna Board Chair, Damian Burton, said P&N’s customer’s support would allow continuity of the School Breakfast Program and the provision of essential breakfast items that Manna supply, such as dairy products, fruit, jam and muffins.

“We really appreciate P&N coming on board. Their support, together with donations from the appeal, will help us add a further 12 schools to the program and give even more kids an opportunity to start the day right so they can focus at school,” Mr Burton said.

“Food insecurity is associated with poor developmental outcomes in children, including impaired social skills and reading difficulties, so by providing breakfast to kids we hope to improve their concentration, attention, comprehension and memory.

“The benefits also extend to the wider class, with less disruption and more learning time and engaged participation.

“The School Breakfast Program also encourages kids to increase their social development and confidence, with evidence showing that regular breakfast consumption contributes to school connectedness and social outcomes.”

General Manager, P&N Bank, Ms Anna Pearce said that as part of the community partnership, a first for Manna, P&N will match appeal donations up to a total of $10,000.

“On behalf of our customers, P&N is proud to support Manna’s School Breakfast Program which provides breakfast to disadvantaged kids who would otherwise go without this vital meal,” Ms Pearce said.

“It costs Manna $1 to provide a child breakfast, so every donation made to the Happy Bellies fundraising appeal, no matter how small, will make a considerable difference to the work they are doing in our community.

“At P&N we know that when people work together, individuals, families, groups and our community will flourish, so we encourage everyone to get behind this worthy cause and donate to help feed West Australians in need.”