Weetabix Food Company has partnered with charity Magic Breakfast to provide healthy school breakfasts to hungry children across England and Scotland.
The partnership will see nearly 2m breakfasts of Weetabix Original served to disadvantaged children who are eligible for free school meals.
A nine-year-old child previously helped by the scheme said: “You focus more on your belly hurting than you do on your learning if you haven't had breakfast.'
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic around 1.8m schoolchildren in the UK were at risk of starting the school day hungry. According to the latest survey by the Food Foundation the number of vulnerable children has increased to 2.4m who have had to compromise on the quantity of food they eat or have gone hungry since March 2020.
Sally Abbott, managing director of Weetabix UK and Ireland, commented, “No child should have to start their school day hungry, so I’m pleased to be invited to help more children enjoy the advantage of a healthy and nutritious breakfast.
“Our founders set up in Northamptonshire with the ambition to create ‘healthy minds in healthy bodies’, and I’m delighted that nearly ninety years on we continue to follow in their footsteps.”
Research from Magic Breakfast highlighted the consequences of hunger on schoolchildren’s academic development as disadvantaged children could potentially leave primary school more than a year behind their peers.
Alex Cunningham, chief executive of Magic Breakfast, said, “This year children are returning to school in an incredibly challenging time and, with an increasing number of children arriving at school hungry, the importance of a nutritious school breakfast has never been so vital.
“We’re immensely grateful for Weetabix’s support, and their involvement couldn’t come at a more crucial time as a hungry child is simply not equipped to learn. With the provision of a healthy breakfast at the start of the day, we can provide the fuel for learning a child needs and unlock their potential.”
Weetabix donates surplus stock to more than 11,000 charities through food redistributors FareShare and Grocery Aid. Weetabix is the ‘UK’s favourite healthy cereal’ and it is endorsed by Public Health England.