Regular meals help kids do better at school

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15 May 2018

As SATs kick off today, schools receiving surplus food from food redistribution charity FareShare have talked about the crucial role of food to best equip their pupils during this stressful time.

A 2015 study by Cardiff University of over 6,000 Year 5 and 6 pupils in Wales reported that significant positive associations between breakfast consumption and educational outcomes were observed.

To help make this happen, FareShare redistributes good quality, surplus food to 700 school breakfast and lunch clubs, and after school clubs around the country. School staff have said there is no doubt that the food helps to improve school attendance, punctuality, motivation and self-confidence.

Katy Quilter, Deputy Head at Windmill Primary School in Leeds, says:

“Before we had the breakfast club there was a lot of lateness. Lots of children live close to school but were not getting here on time. Parents now realise they can drop them off with us and don‘t have to pay for childcare, so the breakfast club motivates them to come in, in good time.

“We have found that thanks to the breakfast cub, the children have better concentration in lessons and are happier and eager to learn. This is especially important in the run up to SATs as when children come in to school hungry they are agitated, fidgety and upset. So if they have eaten something it’s one less stress for them.”

Angela Dodsworth, School Business Manager at Whitecotes Academy, Chesterfield, says:

“We have children whose attendance is poor and who are often late, so we use the breakfast club as the hook to get them in early, fed and ready to learn. The teachers can tell which days their children have been at the breakfast club and which days they have not, as they’ll be late for class or find it hard to concentrate.

“We know that for some children when they leave school this evening they won’t have a meal until they arrive back here for breakfast tomorrow morning.”

Annamarie Armstrong, Castle Kids Club Manager at Prudhoe Castle First School, North East, says:

“Some of the children who come to our breakfast club are eligible for free school meals and we know they would otherwise not have a breakfast at home. You can really see the difference in them, in their energy levels, alertness and ability to concentrate in class.”

FareShare Chief Executive Lindsay Boswell said; “We all want to give our kids the best start to the day through the food we provide – it’s regular, healthy meals to keep young people well fed and ready to learn. Through FareShare’s network of 700 school clubs, we are doing just that.”

To support FareShare in providing much needed food to school breakfast clubs in the run up to SATs, Kellogg’s has donated 500,000 free breakfasts as part of the cereal giant’s 20th anniversary of its breakfast clubs programme.

Angela Dodsworth highlights the importance of receiving a regular supply of food from FareShare for their school breakfast club: “Without food from FareShare we would never be able to offer what we currently do for the children. We would most likely have to subsidise it from something else, such as the budget for school trips. Based on the numbers of children attending that we have now we could never do a weekly shop to buy in all the food in the volume we need.”

To read more stories from school breakfast clubs we support, check out our case studies page.