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Magic Breakfast News & Events


Photo: Magic Breakfast founder, Carmel McConnell, being interviewed on

Sky News about the introduction of Universal Infant Free School Meals.

2nd September, 2014

The Government is publicising the start of its Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) initiative today.  This means that, from the start of this term, all children in the first three years of state school will receive a healthy, free school lunch.

Announcing the roll-out of UIFSM this morning the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, described the scheme as being “massively important” and he said that he particularly wanted to reach the 4 in 10 children living in poverty, but not currently eligible for Free School Meals.

At Magic Breakfast we know there are thousands of children in this country who do not get enough food or who, conversely, have diets too high in salt, sugar and fat.  As a result their health and education suffers.

UIFSM, one of many School Food Plan initiatives, is great news, giving a delicious and nutritious school lunch to all infants.  Magic Breakfast welcomes this step and also the new Government school breakfast programme which we are delighted to have been chosen to deliver as part of the School Food Plan.

Holiday Hunger must end



27th August 2014

Back to school is an extremely important time for Magic Breakfast and the children we support.  We hear from teachers at our partner schools that after the summer holidays without their free school breakfast or lunch, children are coming back to school with signs of malnourishment and some are noticeably thinner.

Jeanette Brumby, Assistant Head at Haseltine Primary in Lewisham said ‘We know that some of our children will lack good nutrition and even basic food provision during the weeks away from our school and we want to do whatever we can so that when our children return in September they are as ready to get going as they possibly can be.'

This is backed by a recent study by the Trussell Trust (August 2014) showing that 1 in 8 children in the UK are not being fed enough during the summer holidays and 32% of parents say school holidays put an extra burden on their already tight food budgets.

Founder of Magic Breakfast Carmel McConnell said “One in four children only get one hot meal a day – their school lunch…where do those children go in the holidays? I think this summer needs to be the last one where the answer to that is nowhere.” The Daily Mirror 27/08/14

We have a plan to stop hunger in the holidays with Magic Breakfast 365 read more here:


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Magic Breakfast’s founder, Carmel McConnell, debates the health of the Big Society on the BBC’s Newsnight programme.



7th August 2014

Big Society was a Big theme in the Conservative Party’s 2010 general election campaign. But what, asked Newsnight in a live discussion hosted by James O’Brien, is its legacy and future prospects as we head towards the next general election in 2015?

Magic Breakfast’s founder, Carmel McConnell, was invited to join the debate alongside Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Conservative MP for North-East Somerset. Mr Rees-Mogg said he believed that Big Society was “alive and kicking”.  He went on to say: “It’s really about David Cameron’s statement that there is such a thing as society – it’s just different from the state. And that can be put into practice without the state mudding about with it’.

Carmel McConnell said she was a very early fan of Big Society and that Magic Breakfast had received a Big Society Award from Number 10 Downing Street, but she said she wanted to see it developed into even more action. She said that since the Conservative’s Big Society initiative was launched, the country had been “slightly overcome by austerity” and that she wanted Big Society to be used to tackle social inequality.  “We’ve got a big challenge in our society, that children are coming to school too hungry to learn”. This, Carmel pointed out, wasn't something the country could leave to just the government or the state, but it required a combination of effort from government, state and the wider (Big) society.

You can watch the whole debate and introductory feature via the BBC’s iPlayer. It starts 30 minutes in to the programme, but has a limited shelf-life, of a week from transmission.

Magic Breakfast- Playday 2014


6th August 2014

At Magic Breakfast we love the idea of Playday which is held on the first Wednesday of August each year - that’s today!

Breakfast Clubs are the perfect opportunity for play (both structured and unstructured). We have seen improvements in children's confidence and positive social relationships as a result of being given time to play.  Our partner schools often provide a range of activities which promote exercise and activity as well as opportunities for children across multiple year groups to play together.

"Our breakfast club is designed to be a relaxing and informal environment where children can feel at home. There is direct access to outdoor space so children can be indoors or outdoors as they please. Children can choose from a wide range of games from chess to table football and a library of books for all ages." Ambler Primary School, Islington.

"Children love construction games and also play with toys with their friends as they don’t have time in the busy school agenda." Pat O'Connor, Breakfast Club Coordinator at St. James Primary School, Southwark.

"The most beneficial part of the breakfast club is the social aspect of children engaging with each other through having breakfast together, helping each other with their homework and of course doing sports related activities." Marc Nurse, Health Mentor,Lawdale Primary School, Tower Hamlets.

"We try to vary games and play in the club. We try to link with the big events taking place in the school - harvest, world book day, healthy eating week etc. This has proved very successful for us." Gloria Tofi, Breakfast Club Leader, Grafton Primary School, Islington.

We hope that all our breakfast club children, wherever they are, are having a wonderful time playing today.

The Magic Breakfast Team.


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