FareShare meals make ‘an immediate impact’ on First Nations school

Teachers at Hymba Yumba Independent School in Springfield, Queensland get excitedly asked the same question a lot these days – “What are we having for lunch today?” 

Since FareShare started providing free, tasty meals earlier this year to support the 300 jarjum (children), the answer could be creamy pasta, chicken and rice, or lamb shanks with rice.

Term has only just begun at Hymba Yumba but already teachers have witnessed an incredible transformation.

“Kids are concentrating and behaving better. Engagement has increased massively. Attendance is way up,” says Simone Watego, the Office Manager at Hymba Yumba. 

Teachers at Hymba Yumba have noticed that students are happier, engaging more and concentrating better thanks to FareShare's meals.
Hymba Yumba staff members prepare FareShare meals ahead of lunchtime.

But that’s not all. FareShare meals have also improved the whole energy and atmosphere of the school.

“To see our students sharing a meal at lunchtime is special,” Simone says. “They’re excited by the menu, they’re talking to each other, they’re happier, they’re cleaning up after themselves, nobody’s hiding anymore.”

Noticeably, teachers aren’t being asked for food anymore either.

“This partnership has had an immediate impact,” Simone says. “It has changed us as a school!”

It’s a refreshing contrast from before the collaboration, when teachers would constantly have to buy food to fill rumbling tummies in their classrooms. Students whose families were too ashamed to send them to school hungry were often absent. Others hid at lunchtime to avoid the stigma of having nothing to eat.

With the Hymba Yumba community including families experiencing hardship, families still recovering from floods, and Year 13 couch surfers, being able to assist with FareShare meals is making a real difference. 

This vibrant scene at Hymba Yumba is a contrast from before FareShare's partnership, when jarjum would hide or be absent due to hunger.
Happy Hymba Yumba students connect and laugh while eating FareShare meals.

“We are so happy that we are now in collaboration with Hymba Yumba Independent School to provide healthy, nutritious meals to the jarjum,” says Jason Mollenhauer, FareShare’s First Nations Officer.

“Although we are only a few weeks into the partnership, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are grateful that the jarjum can focus on their education and development.

“FareShare looks forward to this ongoing relationship with the school and I am excited to attend some of the school’s special events throughout the year.”

Skip to content