20 July 2017
Every morning thousands of children in the UK arrive at school hungry. This can leave them unable to concentrate, lethargic and unable to learn. To make sure all children go to classes with full stomachs and focused minds, we are providing food to school breakfast clubs across the country. Our teams across the UK deliver cereals, bread, fruits and yoghurts to local clubs, who turn it into healthy breakfasts for pupils. One of these is the breakfast club at Deptford Park School in London. We went along to see it in action and hear about the difference surplus food is making to pupils.
At 8am children start arriving into Deptford Park School main hall. The bright room is laid out with long benches covered in polka dot tablecloths. Helpings of yoghurt, cereal, fruit and juice are dished up into brightly coloured bowls and cups. Children dig in while chatting with friends, comparing thoughts on last night’s homework and talking to teachers who pop in.
Seeing friends is undoubtedly part of the appeal of the breakfast club for pupils, which has had the knock on effect of improving punctuality at the school. Clarissa, aged 10, told us “I always wake up early to get to school for breakfast club. I have more energy to work and play because I get my breakfast at school.”
The food that is served up has been saved from waste and delivered to the school by FareShare London. Using FareShare food saves the breakfast club money. It also helps them to provide a greater variety of food, such as juice and yoghurt, which they might not be able to afford otherwise. Savings from using FareShare help the club to provide more places for vulnerable children.
“Thank you for making sure I’m not hungry, my stomach’s always full because of the food you give.”
Isabella, aged 10
The breakfast club is in an area of South East London where 37% of children live in poverty. Some local families struggle on low incomes meaning that children might not always have enough to eat at home. For others, parents’ working hours make it difficult for children to eat before they leave the house. Deptford Park School takes pupils’ nutrition seriously. Their commitment to providing students with nutritious food, for lunch as well as breakfast, has been recognised with a Healthy School’s Award.
When the bell rings at 8.55am children are ready for lessons with full stomachs and focused minds.
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We visited Ronald McDonald House to hear how FareShare food is supporting families with children in hospital.
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Mary from FirstBite Community Food Project shares how they use surplus food in their cooking workshops and community cafe.