Imagine waking up hungry, in a household with no food. You would then travel to school and have to get through a whole morning of lessons before your first meal of the day. Over half a million children in the UK arrive at school each day too hungry to learn. Some pupils will not have eaten anything since their school lunch the day before. Unsurprisingly these children will not be paying full attention in their lessons. They will not have the energy to participate fully in activities.
The charity Magic Breakfast provides nutritious breakfasts and expert support to schools in disadvantaged areas of the UK where hunger acts as a barrier to education. Players of People's Postcode Lottery have been supporting Magic Breakfast since early 2014 and awarded the charity an amazing £1.3 Million. This has made a positive difference to the lives of thousands of schoolchildren.
This year players are enabling Magic Breakfast to provide healthy breakfasts to around 5,000 schoolchildren in 65 schools in England and Scotland. Children at these schools receive special magic bagels, cereal, porridge and fruit juice. Staff receive advice from the Magic Breakfast team on how to optimise their breakfast provision and how to reach every pupil at risk of hunger.
Schools report that healthy breakfast provision has a significant impact on:
- attendance, and
- educational attainment of pupils.
Independent research has shown that children in schools with a Magic Breakfast club get a boost to their reading, writing and maths by an average of two month's additional progress per year. This was discovered in a case study from one of Magic Breakfast's partner schools whose breakfast provision is supported by players.
The study found that, "Family A has three young children in school who, prior to attending Magic Breakfast club, were regularly late and always arrived hungry. This was not only difficult for the children, but it proved difficult for the support staff as they were taken away from their teaching groups to prepare the children for class. Since offering free Magic Breakfast club places to the children they have been much more settled. They are no longer late and they are well fed before learning begins so they do not need to be removed from lessons. This has also benefited other children in the classroom as there is less disruption to their learning time and support staff can remain in the classroom."
Alex Cunningham, CEO of Magic Breakfast, said, "Players help to provide tremendous and life-changing support to so many vulnerable children. The whole team at Magic Breakfast sends a massive thank you."