Thousands of vulnerable children will now have the chance to get a wholesome, nutritious start to their day, with Foodbank rolling out free breakfasts in 500 public schools across NSW thanks to funding from the State Government.

The initiative will be funded by an investment of $8 million in this year’s 2019-20 NSW Budget and will be delivered in partnership with Foodbank, Australia’s largest food relief organisation.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the initiative will reduce food insecurity for vulnerable Australians and address the nation’s food waste problem.

“The single most important investment you can ever make is in a child’s future,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This initiative will help take the pressure off parents and carers who are struggling to put food on the table for their children and will provide relief to the communities who need it the most.”

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the joint initiative with Foodbank will give children a better chance to succeed in the classroom.

“Research shows that a nutritious breakfast will have a positive impact on a child’s mental and physical health, will enhance engagement and productivity in the classroom, improves cognitive functions and educational outcomes, and helps to develop social and leadership skills,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Foodbank currently provides food to more than 100 schools in NSW, so I am thrilled we can help offer this program in an additional 500 public schools.”

This announcement is part of a suite of education initiatives in the 2019-20 Budget, including 4,600 more teachers in NSW public schools, $917 million for 40 new and upgraded schools, $500 million for non-Government schools and $449 million to erase the existing maintenance backlog.

“The NSW Government is investing more in education than ever before, because an investment in our children really is an investment in the future of NSW,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Our state’s future doctors, nurses and farmers are being shaped in our schools as we speak, so it is crucial they are nurtured to be the best they can be.”