17th July 2015

A survey carried out by YouGov, funded by Kellogg’s, and delivered to MPs today, suggests that almost a third of parents on lower incomes have skipped a meal so that their children could eat during the school holidays.

Magic Breakfast provides a healthy breakfast free of charge to 440 schools across the country, making sure over 17,500 children have a nutritious start to their morning in the classroom.  The charity first raised the importance of school holiday food provision in 2009 when it established its Magic Breakfast 365 programme. This offers healthy breakfasts, exercise, plus cookery lessons where children can learn how to make food for the rest of the day. Now the charity is calling for a national framework to make sure children at risk of hunger and malnourishment are offered food support during the long summer holidays.

Magic Breakfast’s CEO, Carmel McConnell, said: “We know that many of the children in our partner schools are going home to empty cupboards. Hunger takes summer away from these children and in a rich and caring society that is simply unacceptable. Families cannot find the money to provide all the extra food and childcare needed during the holidays. Teachers tell us that it takes several weeks after the school holiday ends to return children to health and readiness to learn after 6 weeks of poor diet. This is shocking in the 6th richest economy in the world.

With help from our corporate partners, we can provide breakfast, exercise and cookery support for just £7 per child per day, which is surely a good investment in the well-being and development of each child?  We want to see a national integrated holiday hunger programme, to offer the right amount of food and food skills training to children who are at high risk. We welcome the APPG on School Food’s focus on work in this area.

Magic Breakfast 365 will be provided during the Summer 2015 holidays in a number of schools in Tower Hamlets with support from Morgan Stanley. The charity is actively seeking investment to take the programme into all its partner schools.


Magic Breakfast is going through a phase of unprecedented growth. Since September 2014 the charity has almost doubled in size, and with support from our corporate partners now provides a healthy breakfast to 17,500 children in 440 schools all over the country. This is up from 8,500 children in 250 schools last September.

As the Government lead partner on school breakfasts, the charity has started 184 new school breakfast programmes in partnership with the Department for Education, with the goal of making each one of these schools financially self sustaining by March 2016.

This work is against a backdrop of increasing child hunger, evidenced by school partners asking for more food aid, our waiting list of several hundred schools (more than we have ever known), and evidence from food banks who report more children needing their support.

We are keen to build on our corporate partnerships to grow the scale of our offer and develop a long term partnership to help children for both school term time and holidays.

Magic Breakfast is part of the School Food Plan Expert Panel, Feeding Britain and is also planning to take on 50 new schools each term during 2015/16.