Over a third of teachers say children come to school hungry every day

Nearly four in ten teachers claim to see children coming to school hungry every day. Shocking research of 750 teachers found 37 percent have children in their class who have not had breakfast that morning, with 63 percent claiming this number has increased on last year.

And 29 percent of teachers have given away their own food to a child, while 72 percent believe the number attending breakfast clubs has risen.

The research, which also polled 1,228 parents, found 18 percent of those have children who don’t always eat breakfast, with 19 percent putting this down to them being in too much of a rush to get out of the door.

But nearly one in ten (eight percent) parents in low-income households said they simply run out of food in the house by the end of the week.

A spokesman for Kellogg’s, which commissioned the research to mark 25 years of supporting breakfast clubs, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is really beginning to bite for many, and is having a real impact on the food children are eating before school.

“Being hungry can affect how focused they are in class, how much they concentrate, and reduce their mood and ability to learn.

“For many, breakfast clubs are the best way of making sure children get the food they need to keep them going throughout the morning, and we want to recognise the difference they can make for children.”

The study also found 22 percent of the parents polled said their children attend a breakfast club, with 55 percent claiming they are eating more frequently at a breakfast club than a year ago.

Top reasons for attending a breakfast club include not having time to make breakfast in the morning (16 percent), not being able to afford what children want to eat (eight percent) or enough of it (11 percent), and so that parents can get to work earlier (51 percent).

But 17 percent said the food is better at the club than they can give at home.

It’s not just for the food, though – as, of the 85 percent who said their children like attending a breakfast club, 15 percent said it’s because it’s warmer than it is at home, while 13 percent get help with their homework.

And 19 percent of parents turn to breakfast clubs to save money on childcare in the morning.

As a result, 58 percent of parents are worried their child’s school will have to stop the service, because of funding challenges (53 percent), staff shortages (29 percent), or increased costs (48 percent).

And 68 percent of those who currently use a breakfast club said it would have a negative effect on them if it were to close – with 16 percent claiming they would be forced to turn down work, while eight percent would have to stop working altogether.

The Kellogg’s spokesman added: “Breakfast clubs have really been there for thousands of children in the 25 years we have been supporting them, and this year we’re extending that support, to reach 20,000 more children.

“We provide funding for equipment, staff, and food – making sure the youngsters who need it most can start the day with a full tummy to learn.”

Schools can apply here for a cash grant from Kellogg’s, to support with the cost of running their breakfast club.

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