The Issue Even before the pandemic 1.7 million school age children are at risk of hunger each morning. 70% of teachers in schools supported by Magic Breakfast say they have seen an increase in the number of children arriving at school hungry in the past academic year. Hungry children cannot concentrate on lessons and miss out on hours of valuable learning, contributing to an educational attainment gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers. By the time they leave school, children eligible for free school meals are 19.3 months behind their wealthier peers. [Education Endowment Foundation] Children at risk of hunger are also at a greater risk of obesity. By age 11, children living in the most deprived areas are roughly three times as likely to be obese as children living in the least deprived areas. Hunger is also associated with emotional and psychological stress among children, which could exert a negative effect on mental health outcomes.