Friday 15th April

MPs from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger today released a report detailing the extend of malnourishment and neglect of schoolchildren in Britain.

In response Carmel McConnell, MBE, founder and Chief Executive of Magic Breakfast, said: 

"We may be the 5th richest economy in the world, but today's APPG Hunger report, combined with those from UNICEF, teaching unions and our own front line experience, shows we've become a nation guilty of child food neglect. How can half a million children be allowed to be too hungry to learn? One teacher recently commented "you just have to assume all the children here arrive hungry now." It is shocking and simply unacceptable.

We need an urgent national programme of school food aid in at least 2,000 schools, extending right the way through school holidays as well. Magic Breakfast must be given more immediate support to reach the unprecedented 313 schools on its waiting list, on top of our 480 existing partner schools. As a charity we have an approach that really works, but our efforts are being outstripped by demand from hunger hit schools. Even those of us, like Frank Field MP, who are well used to the issue child hunger and malnourishment, are angry and upset at how an increasing number of children bear the brunt of poverty and a lost generation of family food skills. We are the grown-ups, there are hungry children in our classrooms right now desperately asking for our help. Will we listen?"

Magic Breakfast is now providing 23,500 schoolchildren a day with a free, healthy breakfast so they can concentrate in class and not be distracted by hunger. However we have 313 schools on our waiting list requesting urgent food aid. These hunger-hit schools are all over the country, but we have had a lot of recent requests from Liverpool and Merseyside in particular, London (especially Tower Hamlets) and Birmingham.