When our founder, Carmel McConnell MBE, first started taking breakfast food to five primary schools in Hackney, East London, 20 years ago, she wouldn’t have imagined that in 2021 Magic Breakfast would be supporting children in nearly 1,000 schools across England and Scotland.

Neither would she have thought it would still be necessary.

Magic Breakfast Founder, Carmel McConnell MBE, at the start.

Sadly, the issue of child morning hunger has not got any better over the years and has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis.

In September 2020 the Food Foundation reported that 2.3 million children live in households that have experienced moderate or severe food insecurity in the past 6 months.

As we mark 20 years since the inception of Magic Breakfast we are, however, proud to celebrate the help we’ve had from so many wonderful supporters, from fundraising individuals, to large corporates and generous Trusts and Foundations.

We’ve had fantastic support from organisations such as Amazon UK, Pearson, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, along with players of People’s Postcode Lottery and loyal restaurant partners such as Dishoom.  

Nutritious breakfast food has been supplied by some outstanding food partners. One of the longest relationships has been with Quaker Oats, who have been donating porridge oats to hungry children in our partner schools since 2009.   More recently, Heinz has provided 7.4 million servings of beans!

We’ve also been lucky enough to have had support from some famous faces who have helped raise awareness of our aims and ambitions. Russell Tovey, James Corden, Jo Malone, Larry Lamb and Jack Monroe to name but a few.

And of course, we would be nowhere without the passion and hard work of all our wonderful partner schools who recognise the value of breakfast for their pupils and go above and beyond to ensure no child is sitting in their morning lessons too hungry to learn.

There is much to be grateful for.

The effectiveness of the Magic Breakfast model has been demonstrated time and time again, not only via the positive testimonials of thousands of school staff, but also through robust, independent research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies which found that Year 2 pupils in schools supported by Magic Breakfast enjoyed a boost of an average of 2 months’ progress in reading, writing and maths over the course of a year.

And we offer so much more than food aid. Our growing team of School Partners provide expert support to schools to ensure they can target and feed those children most at risk from hunger, alongside advice in areas such as School Food Standards.

In 2018 the Government chose the Magic Breakfast model for the National School Breakfast Programme which, now that it is coming to end, has led to our expansion as we work to support former NSBP schools to maintain their excellent breakfast provisions, which they would otherwise be finding hard to fund at this difficult time. The Magic Breakfast team has grown substantially recently to meet the challenge.

Throughout this 20th Anniversary year, we will be running a series of events, campaigns and media opportunities which we’d love you to get involved in. Please keep checking our website for updates or sign up to receive our regular newsletters.

Please help us raise awareness of the scale and impact of child morning hunger so that one day, hopefully in fewer than another 20 years, we can say, in the UK no child is too hungry to learn.

In our 20th year we will be sharing 20 stories that make Magic Breakfast, simply, ‘magic’ - visit our Magic Stories page where you can hear from the people who have helped us achieve what we have so far.