Magic Breakfast's mission is to solve the problem of children being malnourished and hungry when they start their school day. This issue is a huge barrier to children getting a good education. The charity works toward this goal primarily through food aid and practical support, setting up school breakfast provision in the most deprived communities and delivering free, nutritious food to them.
Magic Breakfast also makes the case to the public, increasing awareness around the issue of child hunger as a barrier to education, as well as influencing policy makers to create lasting change. Finally, Magic Breakfast promotes healthy eating, helping to educate both children and their parents about the importance of eating well.
So far, players of People's Postcode Lottery have awarded £300,000 to Magic Breakfast. With each breakfast costing just 22p, players have provided 1.3 million Magic Breakfasts to children starting the day too hungry to learn. The support has allowed the charity to expand their reach to the North of England, in schools where 35% of children are eligible for free school meals.
A breakfast club coordinator told Magic Breakfast in July that, "One teacher was worried about Lucy*, who was very hungry in the morning and was not at all alert and ready to learn." The charity found out that Lucy had many difficult issues at home, and the family were struggling to cope. Her mother had lost her job and was depressed, and they had recently had a family bereavement.
The school offered her a place in breakfast club so Lucy could have a good breakfast and play with other children. A week later the teacher said, "It is like the lights have been turned on... a totally different girl, alert and engaged."
95% of Magic Breakfast's partner schools recently reported that breakfast provision at their school had led to improved concentration levels amongst the pupils that had participated. 84.4% said that breakfast provision had led to improved educational attainment levels for the pupils that had attended.
Working across 462 primary and secondary schools, pupil referral units and special education needs schools, the small team now feeds 22,000 children every school day. However, with a waiting list of several hundred schools in urgent need of support, there is still much to do. In addition, the charity's goal is to extend support to schools in Scotland by August 2016.
The Magic Breakfast team would like to offer a big thank you to all players for their incredible support to help solve the problem of morning-time child hunger – for good.
*not child's real name