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Posts Tagged ‘Hunger’

Woman Re-Mortagages Her House To Feed School Kids

June 13, 2011

How about this for a story of selflessness and generosity.

A businesswoman in east London re-mortagaged her home to establish a breakfast club after learning that one-fourth of Britain’s primary pupils were too hungry to learn.

Today, Carmel McConnell’s breakfast club – Magic Breakfast – feeds 6,000 chidren every day, Daily Express reported.

At 200 of the most deprived schools, Magic Breakfast gives children a healthy start of juice, bagels and cereal or toast for just 23 pence, with many often having not eaten since the previous school lunch.

Carmel said: ‘My work was advising big business on building trusted brands. I ended up going into schools to research a book on corporate activism and found that many of the teachers were having a whip-round and bringing food into school each morning so they could give their pupils something to eat.

‘Without food, the youngsters are unable to concentrate, behave properly or to learn. I immediately bought a whole load of loaves and dropped them off at our local schools in Hackney (in east London) where the teachers had expressed a real need.

‘I then re-mortgaged the house when I realised just how widespread this problem was and how little it would take to put it right.’

Valerie Figaro, head of Randall Cremer Primary School, east London, said Magic Breakfast transformed the lives of many of her pupils.

‘When children get up they won’t have eaten for 10 to 12 hours and we are asking them to expend energy by using their brains without any fuel,’ said Figaro.

Carmel, who draws support from large corporations, hopes to advise schools on raising funds themselves for breakfast clubs.

I love stories about the unsung heroes of education.  Ms. McConnell can be contacted at carmelmcconnell@btinternet.com

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Breakfast Club a Huge Hit!

June 7, 2011

Breakfast is such a crucial meal.  I am a big supporter of the Breakfast Club program, and am delighted to here it is working well.

YEARS of public campaigns to persuade children to eat breakfast are paying off, with the number of children consuming a morning meal rising in the past decade. A national study by the University of Sydney has found primary and secondary school students are more likely to eat breakfast. Thousands of schoolchildren from years 2 to 12 were surveyed in 2000 and 2006. A follow-up study is planned for next year.

Researchers found high school students in particular were now more likely to eat breakfast.

University of Sydney nutritionist Jennifer O’Dea credited public campaigns and school ”breakfast clubs” for the improvement.

”It’s such a simple thing but it feeds the child’s brain, it improves their behaviour and reduces their risk of overweight and obesity,” she said.

The number of high school boys missing breakfast fell from 19.9 per cent to 12.1 per cent and the number of high school girls fell from 27.7 per cent to 18.7 per cent.

In primary school, the number of boys who did not eat breakfast fell from 9.4 per cent to 6 per cent, while the number of girls fell from 9.6 per cent to 6 per cent.

Dr O’Dea expects to see greater improvements when surveys are conducted again next year.

The nutritional quality of breakfast affects a child’s concentration and learning ability, Dr O’Dea found in separate research in 2008.

Congratulations to all schools that have invested their time and energy into Breakfast Club.  May it continue to assist students in desperate need of a nutritious meal.


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