Fmcg urged to give more help to clubs as kids skip breakfast

Hungry kids: ongoing closure of breakfast clubs

British kids skipped breakfast at home on 40 million occasions last year, research for The Grocer has revealed, as school breakfast clubs warn of a mounting funding crisis.

Children ate 3.6 billion breakfasts at home last year, down 1.1% year-on-year [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 30 November 2012]. “Children are going to school hungry and lethargic and falling asleep in class,” said Alex Cunningham, general manager of charity Magic Breakfast, which supports 242 UK primary school breakfast clubs.

The issue of children skipping breakfast has been compounded by continuing closures of the UK’s estimated 21,000 school breakfast clubs, which cost an average of £6,000 a year to run. FareShare said a third of the 300 breakfast clubs it supported were facing funding cuts.

Fmcg businesses helped to support some clubs, but more help was needed, said Cunningham. PepsiCo supplies Quaker oats and Tropicana to Magic Breakfast, while Kellogg’s said it planned to fund more than 1,000 breakfast clubs in the coming year, up from 653 last year.