23rd July 2020

Magic Breakfast has always worked with schools in disadvantaged areas to provide healthy school breakfasts during term time. During the holidays we have been involved in some projects in specific areas, but we’ve not been able to offer holiday breakfast provision on a large scale.

This summer that changes. We are delighted that nearly 35,000 vulnerable children will be able to access a healthy breakfast this summer, either collecting breakfast provision from their school or, delivered direct to their homes thanks to our partnership with Amazon. It is a huge step forward.

Over the years we have heard many teachers speak of the “learning loss” that occurs during the summer holidays, loss that is worse in disadvantaged areas where poor diet and hunger add to the challenges faced by children.

The YouGov survey that we published last week found that last September 57% of teachers noticed disadvantaged pupils falling behind academically after the summer holidays. This year that situation will be significantly aggravated by the recent school closures.

The survey highlighted the impact of hunger on children’s learning during the pandemic with 80% of teachers surveyed saying school closures due to Covid-19 have negatively affected their pupils’ educational attainment. This rises to 86% of teachers in schools with above average levels of disadvantage.

So, this summer many children will have fallen behind in their learning even before the summer holiday starts. As the economic impact of Covid19 hits, many families are struggling financially and finding it hard to put food on the table.

Schools and families have contacted us to say how grateful they are for the breakfast packs. One North London teacher said,

Thank you for supporting us and our families with breakfasts during lockdown, and over the summer. The fact that we have been able to alleviate some worries about food has really been welcomed by our school community and taking away one worry during such uncertain times has been massively significant.”

Our survey found 76% of teachers support a nationwide programme to ensure children at risk of hunger have access to a free breakfast during the holidays.

We are delighted to be able to provide breakfasts through the holidays and to take some of the pressure off families, but we are not stopping there.

We are calling on the Government to bring forward school breakfast legislation. Alex Cunningham our CEO says “Legislation is urgently needed to guarantee children at risk of hunger have access to a free healthy school breakfast, unlocking hours of learning and enabling them to reach their full potential”

And we will continue to support those children during the holidays too.