What is the Singing Bowl Granola Porridge Project?

The SBG Porridge Project is a sponsor-funded program that supplies local school children with hot organic porridge to start their learning day off with a belly full of nutritious food.

My name is Jessica Duncan, and I am the owner of the Victoria-based company Singing Bowl Granola Inc. In late 2015, I was listening to the CBC and heard about a program called From Breakfast to Beethoven (FB2B) where school children are fed nutritious morning meals while learning about music. I liked the idea of children learning about music while enjoying breakfast as I am a musician and have taught music for years. As a former elementary schoolteacher, I have had plenty of first-hand experience of classroom challenges arising from hunger and poor nutrition. Now, as the owner of Singing Bowl Granola Inc, breakfast is, not only the most important meal of the day, but also my main focus. Hearing about the FB2B program got me very excited. School children. Music. Breakfast. All of these ticked my boxes. Long story short – I contacted the Victoria Conservatory of Music to enquire about how I might contribute to their FB2B program. I was then directed to the principal of George Jay Elementary School. The following week I delivered 50 servings of organic Cinnamon-Raisin instant porridge which was thoroughly enjoyed by the participants in that school’s From Breakfast to Beethoven program. Success!

Why stop there?

After that initial feel-good moment of providing 50 kids with a nutritious start to their day, I did a bit of networking to see which other schools could also benefit from free porridge. Working with the coordinator for school meals for SD61, I have learned that there are literally thousands of SD61 children going to school on empty stomachs every day. At Singing Bowl Granola Inc we firmly believe that good food should be available to everybody regardless of income. The SBG Porridge Project was created to share some of our healthy products with those who could benefit the most from starting their day with a nutritious breakfast. I have the commercial kitchen and the recipe, the enthusiasm and the connections to provide these children with delicious organic porridge. Funding for the raw ingredients and packaging has been generously donated by The Blue Heron Advisory Group from CIBC Wood Gundy. Together, we are doing our best to put a small dent in the pervasive poverty and hunger experienced by far too many students in SD61.

We started the SBG Porridge Project in February 2016, and have just made our last delivery for the 2016/17 school year. Since the project started, we have delivered 12,999 portions of organic porridge to hungry students. We are excited to continue working with The Blue Heron Advisory Group to continue ensuring that children in our schools no longer have to go to class hungry. If you are interested in following our project, please like our page on Facebook for regular updates.

Jessica Duncan is the founder and owner of Victoria-based company Singing Bowl Granola. Her passion is to feed everyone, regardless of income, delicious, healthy food. In 2016, Jessica teamed up with The Blue Heron Advisory Group to create the SBG Porridge Project that is devoted to providing organic instant porridge to local school children.

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