Waiting list for Magic Breakfasts has quadrupled
The charity Magic Breakfast, which provides free, healthy breakfasts to the poorest schools in the UK has seen their waiting list increase from 20 to almost 100 in a year.
by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 8th May 2012
The charity provides free breakfasts to primary schools where there is 50% or more free school meals. Their mantra is:
“A hungry child is often unable to concentrate in class. The good news is that Magic Breakfast provides a healthy breakfast to 6,000 children each morning, as essential fuel for learning. This improves child attendance, punctuality, concentration and behaviour. All for just 22p a day.
Long term solutions
The charity was founded by Carmel McConnell and is working with corporate partners including Tropicana and Quaker Oats. Magic Breakfast is committed to ‘the eradication of child hunger in the mornings’ and is currently able to give over 6000 children ‘the best start to the day’. McConnell says of the increase in the waiting list:
“All of those application forms from schools – they’re stories of real deprivation, where kids are going home to empty cupboards.”
Too many affected
According to research by Magic Breakfast, hunger and malnourishment affects more than 700,000 primary school age children at the start of the school day. McConnell says: “teachers tell us they have to bring in food themselves as so many children arrive at school hungry or malnourished. How can this be the case in one of the richest economies in the world? If we want school age children to achieve social mobility, child hunger cannot continue to be such a huge barrier to educational access. We have to solve this at primary school level. Our school partners do a great job and our support programme transforms child attendance, punctuality, concentration and behaviour. It works. For example:
- 88% report improved attainment and attendance among Breakfast club children
- 94% of these children have healthier eating habits
- 93% demonstrate increased concentration and energy in class”
The charity recently won the Prime Minister’s Big Society award.