My featured charity this week is Magic Breakfast, a hugely important charity helping to provide meals for children living in poverty. Please read about their work and support them with just £3.50 a month.
So, what’s the problem?
At least half a million children in the UK go to school hungry each day*. A hungry child cannot concentrate, missing out on core, morning lessons and a chance at educational success.
How does Magic Breakfast solve it?
The charity provides free, healthy breakfasts (of porridge, low sugar-low salt cereal, bagels and fresh fruit juice) to primary, secondary, PRU and SEN schools where more than 35% of pupils are eligible for free school meals. It helps schools to set up and run breakfast clubs and establish alternative ways of getting breakfasts to hungry children, if needed, including playground and classroom feeding. Over 17,500 children in 443 schools currently benefit from eating a “magic” breakfast each day.
What’s special or unique about how you work?
Magic Breakfast works closely with its partner schools to help them to reach the most vulnerable and hungry children and families in their school community. The charity also advises schools on nutrition (including how the government’s School Food Standards apply to breakfasts), food hygiene and on the setting up of reading, play and exercise schemes and clubs that pupils can enjoy after breakfast until lessons start. Magic Breakfast staff take the time to work out what sort of breakfast provision would best suit each school and organise regional events for headteachers and breakfast club coordinators so that schools can learn from each other what works well in terms of breakfast provision.
Can you explain exactly how you make a difference to a child’s life?
Headteachers at Magic Breakfast partner schools report better concentration, behaviour, attendance and attainment among children who have eaten a nutritious “magic” breakfast. Children benefit from being able to sit in a calm atmosphere and socialise, mixing with different age groups and able to have a quiet word with a member of staff if they are worried about anything.
“I’ve seen a child slip under his desk, faint with hunger. I’ve taken him out, given him a drink and one of your bagels and he sprang back into life. He’d probably not eaten anything since school dinner the day before”. Headteacher, Magic Breakfast partner school in London.
“The impact of breakfast on the quality of teaching time has been remarkable”, Headteacher, Barrow Hill, Chesterfield.
OK, I’m convinced. What can I do right now to help?
Magic Breakfast has around 300 schools on its waiting list requesting urgent food aid that it needs to help as soon as possible. The charity needs funds to reach the hungry children in these schools, but the good news is that a little goes a long way. Just 22p will give a child a healthy magic breakfast. If you donate £3.50 a month, for example, you will provide a child with breakfast for that month.
Do get in contact with the Magic Breakfast team to discuss ways of fundraising, they have lots of fun ideas!
Tel: 020 7836 5434
* (Source: Nutrition Bulletin)