Weetabix Food Company has partnered with charity Magic Breakfast to provide healthy school breakfasts to hungry children in areas across England and Scotland. Weetabix is providing food donations as well as covering the delivery costs to the charity’s 480 partner schools.
The partnership will see nearly 2 million ‘magic’ breakfasts of Weetabix Original, the nation’s favourite breakfast cereal, served to disadvantaged primary school children who are eligible for free school meals. Prior to the pandemic, 1.8 million school age children in the UK were at risk of starting the day hungry but according to the latest survey released by the Food Foundation earlier this month this number has increased, with 2.4 million children living in households that have had to compromise on the quantity of food they eat, skipped meals or gone hungry since March 2020.
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.”
Sally Abbott, managing director of Weetabix UK and Ireland, said: “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.”
Alex Cunningham, CEO of Magic Breakfast, concludes: “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.”
Research compiled by Magic Breakfast highlights the consequences of hunger on children’s academic development. It finds that persistently disadvantaged children, those eligible for free school meals for 80% or more of their school life, leave primary school more than a year behind their peers.
Ever since it was founded in Northamptonshire in 1932, Weetabix has played a strong role in the local community. Each year, Weetabix donates surplus stock to more than 11,000 charities through industry schemes FareShare and GroceryAid. Weetabix continues to be the UK’s favourite healthy cereal and is endorsed by Public Health England as one of the lowest salt, sugar and fat options available. The average level of sugar in Weetabix products is 26% less than the average sugar level in the category.