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Learning on an empty stomach
a thing of the past in Arctic Bay

Jillian Dickens
Northern News Services

Arctic Bay (Dec 12/05) - If you're a student in Arctic Bay, you're sure to be eating well. Since school began this year, the Inuujaq school breakfast program has been in full effect.

Every Monday to Friday morning, kids are treated to a vitamin-rich, fibre-full breakfast.

"The breakfast program is helping a lot," said organizer Kango Ikittirq. "The kids are more willing to do their work. It has made a big difference because some kids used to be so hungry in the morning. Now they are a lot better."

At 8:45 a.m. the breakfast bell goes off, and kids hurry to the home economic room, pick up their breakfast and bring it to their respective classrooms to enjoy.

All cutlery, bowls and cups are brought from home, meaning no costly plastic or paper eating ware is wasted, said Kango.

Kango and her colleagues tried to start the program last year, but had no funds.

This year, they were awarded a $26,000 grant from the Brighter Futures Program of the Department of Health and Social Services.

The money allowed the school to hire breakfast cook Dolores Patykewych, who spends every school morning from 7 to 9 a.m. preparing nutritional breakfasts for the kids.

The grant also helped buy cooking supplies like pots and pans.

Taqqut Co-op donates all the program's fresh fruits.

The school pays for the remaining supplies, like pancake batter, muffin mix and cereal, to be sealifted to the community.

Kango recommends all schools who do not have a breakfast program to search for funding in all areas, whether it be businesses or government organizations, because the work is well worth it.