In March an emergency fundraising appeal began to ensure that pupils who would normally receive a free, healthy breakfast at school would not go hungry at home during school closures.
With the help of the charity’s generous supporters, including corporate partners, major donors, Players of People's Postcode Lottery and celebrities such as footballer Dele Alli and actor Russell Tovey, the successful appeal has raised over £1m to help disadvantaged children, far exceeding its original target of £250,000.
Alex Cunningham, chief of Magic Breakfast said: “We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve had from our generous supporters and partners in response to our Keeping Breakfast Going fundraising appeal. The indicators show that the number of children going hungry is increasing at an alarming rate – and we cannot let this happen.
“As a result of the pandemic we had to swiftly adapt our food delivery model to reach hungry children at home as well as school. However, we also suffered an immediate drop in income through the cancellation of fundraising events due to social distancing, and the devastating impact on the hospitality industry.
“It has been a difficult time for very many people and charities have seen many challenges, so we are incredibly grateful that our appeal has raised over £1million to help fight child hunger.”
As many as 1.8m school age children are at risk of hunger in the UK and for too many the first meal of the day is lunch. Magic Breakfast provides nutritious breakfasts and expert support to over 48,000 children across 480 schools in England and Scotland where children arrive for their morning lessons too hungry to learn.
During the pandemic, Magic Breakfast adapted their delivery model by replacing breakfast clubs and playground bagels with home deliveries and take-home packs of food.
The funds raised from the Keeping Breakfast Going appeal ensured that all children affected by morning hunger from Magic Breakfast partner schools continued to receive a nutritious breakfast each school day during lockdown and school closures, including over half term and the school summer holidays.
A head teacher at a Magic Breakfast partner school, who said she wished to remain anonymous to protect her pupils and their families, said: “I would like to thank Magic Breakfast for the amazing support we received for our pupils and families during lockdown. We spent the summer delivering food to families either at their homes or at several different pick-up points.
“The delight and relief on the faces of the children and parents, knowing they would have food, was so overwhelming. The children jumped up and down with excitement at the thought of food in the cupboards.”