Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, attended the launch event of our #BigBreakfast Week. The campaign, which officially started on Monday 14th October, aims to highlight the city-wide issue of child hunger and the important role breakfast clubs play in ensuring all children get a decent breakfast before the school day begins.
Marvin Rees, who during last year’s Big Breakfast Week attended a breakfast club and made breakfast with children at a school in Withywood, is again showing his support for this issue this year.
Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, says: “It’s easy for many of us to take a nutritious breakfast for granted and yet many children are still going to school hungry. For many a successful day at school rides on whether they are fed and in the right place to learn. In Bristol there are around 16,500 children living in poverty so it’s essential that we raise the profile of this issue and champion the organisations and individuals who are providing solutions. By working collectively, we can address the deep-rooted problems that lead to child hunger.”
Within Bristol we pick, pack and deliver food from the warehouse to 35 schools, supplying children with a healthy and filling breakfast at their breakfast club. As the largest food redistribution charity in the UK, we work to prevent food poverty as well as food waste and have distributed an incredible 48 tonnes of food, equating to 114,288 meals, to schools since the start of 2018.
Our CEO, Julian Mines, says: “We’re grateful that Marvin Rees recognises the issue of food poverty and how it is affecting the children across our city and we value his support today. With so much still untapped surplus food right across the food chain, we can get in-date, good quality food – that would otherwise go to waste – to the people who need it most.
Some of the most successful breakfast clubs we support open the clubs to all students, and even sometimes parents, creating an inclusive and positive environment in which students and their families are welcome to take 20 minutes to sit down, chat and eat ahead of their days. This is removing stigma and teachers and headteachers, particularly in the most deprived areas are reporting increased engagement from students and improved behaviour.
Breakfast clubs are only a part of the broader work we do in line with the ‘No Child Goes Hungry’ initiative, which sees our food delivered into the community through various groups, projects and charities, with the child at the centre. With vast quantities of surplus food available to us, the more support we get, the more food we can get to the most vulnerable and provide an immediate solution to this issue of food poverty that faces our city.”
During the rest of #BigBreakfast week we visited 20 schools across Bristol and Bath with 20 top chefs visiting each school to make a fun, creative breakfast session, cooking with the children.