Press release: Friday 26 February 2021


Food organisations, MPs and celebrities join children’s charity Magic Breakfast in calling for #BreakfastInTheBudget

Children’s food charity Magic Breakfast has launched an urgent campaign calling on the Government to announce new scaled up funding for school breakfasts for children at risk of hunger in the 3rd of March Budget.

Magic Breakfast is the UK’s leading charity for school breakfast provision. It partners with over 1,000 schools in disadvantaged areas of England and Scotland to provide healthy breakfast food and expert support to ensure that every child at risk of hunger in these schools starts the day with the energy and nutrition they need to learn.

The Government currently provides funding for school breakfasts through the Department for Education’s National School Breakfast Programme. This programme currently supports 650 schools in England. However, by the Government’s own eligibility criteria, 8,700 schools with high levels of disadvantage could benefit from school breakfast provision. Government funding for school breakfasts ends altogether in July 2021.

#BreakfastInTheBudget calls for the Government to scale up school breakfast funding to all 8,700 schools with high levels of disadvantage and make this support long-term and sustainable. Without additional funding committed in the March Budget, more children will be at risk of hunger in the morning and unable to learn effectively.

Over 30 food insecurity, education and anti-poverty organisations including FareShare, School Food Matters, Children’s Right2Food Campaign and Chefs in Schools, have joined forces with Magic Breakfast by co-signing a letter sent to the Minister for Children and Families, Vicky Ford, encouraging the Government to commit to new funding for school breakfasts to ensure no child starts the day too hungry to learn.

The letter states: “Covid-19 has led to rising levels of food insecurity amongst children. At the same time, disadvantaged children have been worst affected by school closures, with research indicating a widening educational attainment gap.

“We believe that the 3 March Budget is the right opportunity for the Government to make this commitment and we urge the Government to act decisively to ensure that children at risk of food insecurity have the chance to benefit fully from the education system and reach their full potential.”

The call for increased funding for school breakfasts has gained cross-party support and is backed by over 50 MPs including Robert Halfon MP, Ed Davey MP, Emma Lewell-Buck MP and Christian Wakeford MP. Magic Breakfast’s campaign has also garnered support from celebrities including singer/songwriter Yusuf Cat Stevens, comedians Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont and actor Larry Lamb.

In addition to helping tackle child hunger, healthy school breakfast provision has been found to improve children’s emotional, physical and mental wellbeing as well as their educational attainment.

This campaign follows a new Return on Investment report from Pro Bono Economics in partnership with Magic Breakfast and Heinz that finds that every £1 invested in school breakfasts could generate £50 in long term economic benefits. It found that providing free school breakfasts for one year to a Year 2 pupil in a school with high levels of disadvantage has the potential to generate approximately £9,000 per child in long-term economic benefits, which amounts to a staggering £2.7bn in benefits across England.

According to the Food Foundation, 2.3 million children experienced food insecurity in March to September of last year.

Magic Breakfast is asking the public to email their MP before 3 March requesting that they pressure the government to act. It takes just one minute to email your MP to get #BreakfastInTheBudget.



About Magic Breakfast 

Magic Breakfast is a registered charity providing healthy breakfasts to children in the UK who arrive at school too hungry to learn, and expert support to their schools. The charity works with over 1,000 Primary, Secondary, ASL/Special Educational Needs Schools and Pupil Referral Units in disadvantaged areas of England and Scotland, offering breakfasts to around 170,000 children to ensure they start their school day with the energy and nutrition they need to be able to make the most of their morning lessons. 

For more information please contact Jo Matthews at Magic Breakfast [email protected] or 07377 177443.