Amazon is set to provide more than 700,000 breakfasts to vulnerable UK schoolchildren over the next year as part of a new partnership with charity Magic Breakfast.
The company has teamed up with the charity to fund meals for 3,800 children in 57 primary schools across the UK in the 2016-2017 school year.
The funding will also pay for a Magic Breakfast representative to go into the schools and give nutritional information to teachers and parents, while a “number of schools” will receive books and educational games.
Magic Breakfast provides food such as bagels, cereals, juice and porridge to 467 schools in disadvantaged areas, reaching 31,000 pupils in total.
The charity was founded on the belief that a nutritious breakfast can improve children’s wellbeing and academic performance. The aim was backed up by a year-long research study conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation and Institute for Fiscal Studies, published last month. It found schools that offered free breakfasts could boost their reading, writing and maths results by the equivalent of two months’ progress over the course of a year.
Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon, said primary education played “an important role” in helping children succeed in later life. “Every child, regardless of background, should get an equal chance to excel at school, and we should not allow hunger to be a barrier to getting a great education,” he said.
Magic Breakfast founder Carmel McConnell said Amazon’s support was “urgently needed”. “A hungry child cannot concentrate and the most important lessons are taught in the morning,” she stressed. “So if we as a country want to improve attainment and social mobility, it makes sense to grow the successful Magic Breakfast approach into a national school breakfast programme.”