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Children arriving to school hungry, finds survey.

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 25/08/2014. Children arriving to school hungry, finds survey. Tags: Parenting

A survey carried out by Kellogg’s has found that children are coming to school with empty bellies, with almost one in five teachers reporting that they have seen an increase in children arriving hungry to school this past year.

The problem is said to be so bad that teachers are bringing food to school to help feed those children who are regularly coming to school hungry.

The survey, commissioned by Kellogg's, called ‘The Lost Education’, polled over 500 primary and secondary schools in Ireland. It reported that, ‘Half of respondents (50%) believe that children arriving to the classroom hungry are more likely to have issues socialising, while 71% think hunger in the classroom can lead to behavioural problems.’

Kellogg’s have teamed up with the Irish children’s charity Barnardos to create ‘Breakfast Clubs’, that are ‘to provide breakfast to children attending their services and also to school children who attend Barnardos Breakfast Clubs. Kellogg’s will also be supporting Barnardos in setting up a new breakfast club.’

Kellogg’s created the worldwide survey to discover how hunger was affecting children's performance in schools. According to the Irish survey, ‘30% of teachers have even seen children fall asleep in the classroom due a lack of food, and 76% believe children who miss breakfast are less likely to perform as well in exams. Teachers say that children who come to school hungry are losing an average of 57 minutes of learning time each day, with the net result being 6 weeks of learning time lost over the course of an academic year.’

Breakfast clubs, food banks and charities are are starting to become the norm amongst struggling families, with the teachers surveyed believing that families would go hungry without these services.

Michael McDonagh, Senior Manager for Food Services with the Crosscare food bank said: “Across the Island of Ireland, over a quarter of children under 18 are now living below the poverty line. We work with state agencies and registered charities that identify individuals or families and refer them to the food bank. We see families visit us on a weekly basis, and the demand is getting bigger. Our idea of what food poverty is has completely changed, we meet families in which both the husband and wife are working but they have to pay a mortgage and keep their car on the road and it’s the family’s food that suffers.”

For more on this please visit Kellogg’s site.


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