26 September 2022

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There is a child hunger crisis in the UK

According to The Food Foundation, 2.6 million children are living in households experiencing food insecurity and are at risk of starting their days too hungry to learn. The fallout of the pandemic and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis have only made the situation increasingly critical.

"There is no doubt that families are under even more pressure financially than ever as the impact of the cost-of-living increases kick in." - Magic Breakfast partner school.

As this crisis ensues, an increasing number of children and young people are going to be relying on schools to provide then with the basic necessities. However, schools are far from immune from the cost hikes, and many are struggling to simply keep the lights on. 

The fight against hunger

As more families face a decision between heating and eating, and schools struggle with increased financial burdens, charities like Magic Breakfast offer a universal, barrier and stigma-free source of support.

Magic Breakfast’s mission is to end morning hunger by providing free, nutritious breakfasts to children and young people across the UK, ensuring that they have the fuel they need to learn, play and develop.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported Magic Breakfast for over eight years, raising more than £2.9 million for the charity to date – the equivalent of over 10 million breakfasts! This year, player support is allowing Magic Breakfast to reach even more children and young people at risk.

Funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery has also enabled the work of Magic Breakfast’s Youth Campaigners, who have been advocating for government action to end child morning hunger. Watch Sophie, one of the fantastic Youth Campaigners, speaking to Sky News about school breakfast funding here.


More than just a breakfast

Breakfast provision not only helps tackle the crisis now, but also goes a long way in tackling disadvantage long term. The evidence shows the important role of breakfast in closing the educational attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers, as well as increasing economic opportunities.

The Education Endowment Foundation found that primary school pupils at Magic Breakfast schools made an additional 2 months of academic progress compared to children in schools without breakfast provision. Similarly, a study by the University of Leeds found that students who rarely ate breakfasts achieved nearly two grades lower in their GCSEs than those who rarely missed their morning meal.


Lindsey MacDonald, CEO, Magic Breakfast, said:

“A huge thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for raising over £2.9 million for Magic Breakfast and playing a pivotal role in ensuring no child is too hungry to learn. At this challenging time for families your support has never been more needed. Your generosity means we can provide filling and nutritious breakfasts at the start of each school day, unlock hours of learning, and make the case for change so that every pupil’s future is fueled for success.”

Thank you for being a part of the solution.