Magic Breakfast - Fuel For Learning
Magic Breakfast News & Events
SMCP: State of the Nation Report 2014

20th October 2014

Magic Breakfast is dealing with the problem of child hunger as a barrier to learning in UK schools, offering practical food aid and support to hundreds of poverty hit schools where children arrive too hungry to learn. Poverty is getting worse in these school communities and we are pleased that Alan Milburn has spoken out in this report about the negative impact of inequality. The SMCP Annual State of the Nation rightly recognises that the economic recovery is not yet a social recovery, reinforcing our day to day experience in over 250 schools. In response, we call on all  political parties to commit to support healthy breakfast provision, via Magic Breakfast, in every school with over 35% free school meals. The report today is a warning - and we agree with CPAG - rising child poverty and hunger is a result of policy choices. And it just doesn't have to happen.

We know that parents on low pay run out of food, and children go hungry. That parents without work or access to benefits run out of food, and children go hungry. We hope, as a mature democracy, that education drives child attainment as well as improving the intellectual capital of our nations. But right now we are failing the hundreds of thousands of children who cannot learn simply because their life circumstances mean they cannot get enough good food. It is horrible for the child and shocking that we as a country tolerate it.

Behind the statements made by the Rt Hon Alan Milburn about the need for living wages by 2025, and the welcome urgency across all report recommendations, there are the tough daily realities of communities where social inequality is painfully abundant. About a million hungry school children may not be able to learn,  to qualify, to work and to enjoy a productive, healthy and happy life unless we take action. We have to invest urgently in social mobility drivers - one of which is surely to make sure no child starts their school day too hungry to learn.

Read the full report here


10th October 2014

Today Magic Breakfast visited St Eugene’s Primary in Camden to celebrate World Porridge Day. The team arrived early in the morning to set up a healthy porridge topping station to encourage the children to start eating porridge and choose tasty toppings.

Lynn the chef had boiled up a big vat of porridge which was ready to be served up at 8:30 on the dot.  As the children started to arrive, porridge was definitely the favourite choice. The children helped themselves to healthy toppings such as strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, pineapple, pears, yogurt, honey and cinnamon.

The aim of the day was to get children trying the porridge as many of the children hadn't tried porridge before and thought they wouldn't like it. Frankie from year  said ‘I’ve never had porridge before but it’s really nice’.

Headteacher Greg Donohue said: ‘Many of our children are from challenging backgrounds and would not have breakfast if it wasn’t for the Magic Breakfast club. Bad calories are cheaper than good calories and a lot of the children are suspicious of healthy foods. Porridge is such a good breakfast. By making porridge fun for the children and if they see their friends and teachers eating it, it will definitely encourage them to try porridge’.

‘We had one boy who was really anxious, nervous and chewing his sleeves. I asked his mum if she could just get up a bit early and bring him to breakfast club. He started coming and three weeks later he is a different child, playing with his friends and enjoying himself, his performance in school has improved so much!’.

Magic Breakfast receives porridge from Quaker Oats. They said: 'We are delighted Magic Breakfast is celebrating World Porridge Day by encouraging their partner schools to eat more porridge and try new toppings. Especially now the weather is getting colder, it is a great breakfast for the children. Each year we provide Magic Breakfast with 196,741 bowls of free porridge'.

Magic Breakfast is proud to support World Porridge Day, started by Mary’s Meals international charity, as we believe breakfast and especially porridge gives children the best start to their school day and fuel for learning.

St Eugene’s are now planning to start serving a big pot of porridge every Friday.

Happy World Porridge Day!



October 9th 2014

It was an exciting day for the children at St John’s C of E Primary School in Bethnal Green today,  ten pupils with the best attendance in the school were invited to attend a Magic Breakfast reception at Downing Street hosted by David Cameron.

Magic Breakfast has been Downing Street’s Social Action Partner for the last 18 months. The staff have been fantastic and helped in many ways including communications workshops and volunteering at St John’s and St James’ Primary.

The children have really enjoyed the volunteers coming along to the breakfast club each Friday and doing different activities with them such as maths games, knitting and crafts.

Maggie, breakfast club coordinator at St John’s Primary said: “I think it’s really good for the children to get to talk to different people in the mornings instead of just me, when the tube strikes were on, they were asking where the Number 10 volunteers were!”.

Speaking at the reception in Downing Street, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Making sure children have a healthy breakfast so they can learn at school is vitally important. Thank you Magic Breakfast for what you do and keep on doing it!”


Magic Breakfast would like to thank the incredible staff at Downing Street for their time and energy over the last 18 months, we have thoroughly enjoyed working with you and are grateful for your support.

London Live comes for breakfast at Thomas Buxton Primary



16th September 2014

It was a slightly different start to the day for the children and staff at Thomas Buxton Primary this morning as the London Live TV crew arrived for breakfast.  Magic Breakfast has been supporting this Tower Hamlets school for 4 years, where 45.4% of pupils are eligible for free school meals.

London Live was finding out how and why we are helping to feed the city’s children. Head teacher Lorraine Flanagan explained how it ‘can be a sluggish start to the term if children have had a very inactive and unhealthy summer holiday, so when they come back for some families it can be a period of re-energising. We support this by providing a nutritious breakfast in the mornings’.

We know September is a key time to catch those children who have not been eating or exercising properly during the long, summer holiday. Following the release of research in August (by the Trussell Trust) indicating “holiday hunger” among children in the UK, Magic Breakfast has conducted a back-to-school survey of all its partner schools asking if teachers have seen evidence of malnutrition in pupils returning after the summer break.

Of those who have responded, one third say they have seen evidence of malnourishment with many saying it takes several weeks for these children to return to the state of health they were at the end of the summer term.

Founder Carmel McConnell appealed to Londoners stating that ‘we have a child hunger crisis in the city’, this is evident by the 300 schools on our waiting list in need of support. It costs us £42 to give a child a healthy breakfast for a school year, donations can be made via our website.

Clips from London Live



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