Welcome to Magic Breakfast. We are a charity with over a decade of experience providing healthy breakfasts, nutrition education and support to over 31,000 children each day, and all for just 22p per child (or a tenth of the price of the average latte).

When you think about hunger as a barrier to education the UK might not be the first country that comes to mind, but shockingly the government estimates that there are over ½ million children who arrive at school too hungry or malnourished to learn.

If a child arrives at school hungry, for whatever reason, that child cannot concentrate.

The teacher of that child may have to stop teaching to find food somewhere in the school or offer food brought in specially (in fact 55% of teachers in this country bring in food for hungry children). That child may cry, or be angry. They may faint, slipping under the table. That child may have a stomach pain. Shocking right? Even more shocking is that since I started this work, the problem has got worse - 390,000 children needed food bank support last year – up 20% since 2010.

But hang on, I hear you ask, why aren’t the parents doing it?

Back in 2000, I was running my own company, helping companies to grow by building trust with their customers and employees (which included working with Merrill Lynch back in the day). As part of my work I wrote a book for the Financial Times. As part of the research for the book I wanted to ask lots of people, have we created a fairer as well as richer society? I went to see some headteachers and what they told me shocked me. They said, 'well, Carmel – each one of us has had to bring food in every day, because children are coming in hungry'. I asked ‘why aren’t the parents feeding them?’ They said ‘the parents are hungry too’.

Parents are hungry too. It absolutely astounded me – just up the road from my office in the City children could not learn because of hunger. Classrooms, whole schools were being disrupted through hunger. These 5 headteachers said that hunger in the morning was a major problem, but unlike school lunches, no budget was available to help. I decided I would help.

So here we are over a decade later and I’ve gone from zooming around in my car on a Saturday morning, dropping off bagels to 5 schools in Hackney, to supporting 480 schools (more than 23,500 children each day) with a healthy breakfast provision.

There is still so much to do. But we have a high impact, low cost model that works. In fact, in our 2016 Measuring and Monitoring survey of 404 headteachers and breakfast club coordinators, 96.5% reported an increase in concentration levels and 87.7% reported that they had seen an improvement in educational attainment among children receiving Magic Breakfast provision.

We need to continue to support these schools to ensure that they are reaching the most vulnerable children. The children who otherwise might miss out on their chances in life because they are simply too hungry to learn.

We know that the most important lessons are taught in the morning so just one 22p Magic Breakfast can unlock up to 4 hours of learning for a hungry child.

I would like to personally invite each of you to join the Magic Breakfast family, to stand with us as a transformational partner/investor in the future success of children (and create some magic along the way) by providing the vital fuel for learning.  Together we can end classroom hunger as a barrier to learning for good! Thank you in advance, Carmel McConnell MBE - CEO and Founder Magic Breakfast