herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Rise in numbers of children going to school with no breakfast

Joan Burton

CHILDREN will continue to go to school hungry unless more is done to promote breakfast clubs and other initiatives, teachers have warned.

A new study has revealed that two in every five teachers have noted an increase in the number of students turning up to school without having a proper breakfast.

Some 76pc of teachers surveyed said not enough was been done to tackle hunger in the classroom.

Tanaiste Joan Burton, who yesterday visited a breakfast club in Blakestown Community College in Dublin 15, said funding would continue to be prioritised for the development of such clubs.

Scheme

The warning from teachers comes as a new scheme to celebrate the success of breakfast clubs is launched.

There are now more than 500 such clubs operating in schools around the country.

The clubs offer children of all ages a chance to get a healthy start to the day and have been particularly successful in some communities.

The Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Awards will honour schools and individuals who run the clubs every morning.

The awards are open to schools and community groups nationwide with each club in with a chance of winning up to €1,500 to support their work.

Speaking at the launch in Blakestown, where she met with students participating  in the scheme, Ms Burton said she had increased her department’s funding for the School Meals Programme by €2 million this year.

“This is something that is a priority for my department. Officials are processing applications for this academic year and funding is being

prioritised for breakfast clubs,” she said.

Entries can be made via email at breakfastclubawards@murrayconsultants.ie from now until October 15.

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