Instead of sending Christmas cards this year we have donated to two very worthwhile charities, you can find out more about them below.
Magic Breakfast are a brilliant charity who ensure that no child in their partner schools is too hungry to learn by providing healthy breakfast food as well as expert support to help identify and reach those pupils at risk of hunger. A hungry child cannot concentrate so could miss out on half a day of lessons every school day if not given anything nutritious to eat first thing.
Just a few years ago, before the pandemic, 1.7 million children were at risk of hunger in the UK (Department for Work and Pensions). As if that were not bad enough, by early 2022 this number had risen to 2.7 million before rocketing still further to 4 million in September 2022 (The Food Foundation).
Formed as a charity in 2003 Magic Breakfast now works with over 1,000 schools throughout the UK offering breakfasts to over 200,000 children. The idea is simple (and the survey data backs it up), partner schools see a positive impact on students’ educational attainment (83%), concentration (95%), energy levels (94%) and readiness to learn (94%). Most schools also report improved attendance, punctuality, behaviour and social skills as tangible benefits of breakfast provision, as well as positive influences on mental wellbeing and physical health.
Magic Breakfast nutritionists ensure that food provided is low in sugar, salt and fat.
In the academic year 2021/22 Magic Breakfast provided:
800,000 tins of beans
450,000 boxes of cereal
350,000 bowls of porridge
83,000 litres of milk
Just amazing! You can read more about Magic Breakfast and donate if you wish to here: https://www.magicbreakfast.com/
Hillingdon Foodbank is part of a national network of foodbanks across the UK, supported by The Trussell Trust. The Trussell Trust is an anti-poverty charity that was founded in 1997 and Hillingdon Foodbank was the first foodbank to be set up in London as a subsidiary of the Kingsborough Centre.
Non-perishable, in-date food is donated by the public at a range of places, such as schools, churches, and businesses, as well as supermarket collection points. It is collected and then sorted into emergency food parcels by volunteers, to be given to people in crisis. The food parcels supplied contain at least three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced meals for individuals and families.
Close to 3 million emergency food parcels were distributed by foodbanks in the Trussell Trust network in the past 12 months — the most parcels ever distributed by the network in a year. More than one million of these parcels were distributed for children.
In the last year foodbanks in the Trussell Trust network saw the highest ever levels of need, even more than during the peak of the pandemic, as more people found their incomes did not cover the cost of essentials like heating and food.
Between April 2022 and March 2023, the number of people that used a foodbank for the first time was 760,000. December 2022 was the busiest month on record for foodbanks in the Trussell Trust network, with a food parcel being distributed every 8 seconds.
For the first time, need for emergency food is outstripping donations as the cost of living emergency is leading to a drastic increase in the number of people turning to foodbanks for support.