Raise and Shine! Breakfast Clubs for school children expand across the country
Published 11th January 2013 by
Increasing poverty has brought the problem of hungry school children to critical levels, with teachers reporting rising numbers of children unable to concentrate or misbehaving in class as a result of not having been fed properly at home before arriving at school.
Schools across the country are responding to plea for help by setting up 'Breakfast Clubs' for students. Typically there is no discrimination between those families that can afford it and those that cannot, every pupil will be able to start their school day fed and ready to learn. It is really important that as many parents as possible take up the new service as it will save them money and it positively contributes to making a collective effort to get children into school bright and early, and ready to learn.
Proponents of free school breakfasts say they the service will improve pupils' academic concentration, attendance, behaviour, encourage healthier eating habits and help improve relationships between parents and the school. All of this is good stuff isn't it and what we want for all children?
A charity called Magic Breakfast is the leader on this initiative, flying the flag high for it's need. Demand is high, they now have over 140 schools on their waiting list. This week two regions have stepped forward in a big way, London has invested £650,000 to helping over 50 schools in London and Blackpool has promised 12,000 primary school students breakfast every morning.
We work with schools across the country and think Breakfast Clubs are a wonderful initiative. We have been surprised, and disappointed, to see some people commenting negatively about them. Many feel that it's not the school's responsibility to provide this service and parents should be feeding their children before the day has begun. The fact is many don't bother. Either due to poverty, lack of education about how important the first meal of the day is, or a general can't be bothered behaviour! We often see school children in my local shop and petrol station filling up on junk. Are we suppose to turn a blind eye and ignore it, or do something about it? I'd always stand for the latter.
Education about healthy eating is key for young people so they can understand, influence and lead the next generation. Child obesity and diabetes are growing at an alarming rate, changes need to happen.