Free breakfasts for pupils in Leeds schools
Bracken Edge primary school pupils Billy (11) and Sky (10) enjoy their breakfast with (l to r) Gareth Batty, Fareshare, Lynne Hindmarch, Greggs and Cllr Jane Dowson.
Children and young people who attend schools and children’s centres in the Chapeltown and Harehills areas are now able to get a free breakfast in the city thanks to a new partnership organised by Leeds City Council.
In order to help improve the health and educational attainment of youngsters in schools serving the most deprived areas Leeds City Council has joined forces with FareShare Yorkshire, a charity that redistributes surplus food products, Kellogg’s, and bakers Greggs, to supply food to breakfast clubs at schools and children’s centres in the area.
The cereal, bread and other breakfast products provided by Greggs and FareShare Yorkshire are primarily for primary, secondary and children’s centres in the pilot area for use at their breakfast clubs, although the offer could be extended to families and the wider community where possible.
Councillor Jane Dowson, lead member responsible for children and families said:
“Children and young people who eat a good breakfast have more energy, are able to concentrate better in school, and make healthier eating choices throughout the day. Without breakfast, people can get irritable, restless, and tired, but unfortunately far too many children are going to school without having any breakfast.
“We are very pleased to be joining forces with FareShare Yorkshire and Greggs to provide such an important meal for lots of children and young people in this area. As well as helping children improve their diet this project will also help support families financially, especially those living in poverty.”
Gareth Batty, Chief Executive at FareShare Yorkshire said:
“FareShare Yorkshire is delighted to be able to support this new initiative in Leeds. Through our partnership with Kellogg’s, who are supplying the cereals and working with Gregg’s we can ensure that young people will eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast before they start school. FareShare Yorkshire is committed to working in partnership with Leeds City Council and the Leeds Food Aid Network to ensure that vulnerable people in the City do not go hungry.”
Lynne Hindmarch, Breakfast Club Manager, Greggs, said:
“We are delighted to support this pilot project in partnership with Fareshare and Leeds City Council.
“We currently have 23 schools in Leeds feeding over 1,500 children each day and 310 Primary schools feeding over 17,000 children each school day.
“This will be a significant support to our schools to free up funding for other breakfast items which funds may otherwise not have afforded and to be able to offer the pupils more healthy options.”
A Kellogg’s spokeswoman, said:
“Kellogg's is working with FareShare on its Help Give a Child a Breakfast campaign and regularly donates Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies to help feed children in need.
“Kellogg’s pioneered Breakfast Clubs in 1998 and we welcome any organization or local authority that pledges to support a breakfast initiative to guarantee all children have equal opportunity to start their day nourished which, in turn, enhances their learning ability and performance in school.”
Initially the new breakfast club scheme will start in the ‘CHESS cluster’ of schools, which covers the Chapletown and Harehills areas, and will last for three months. Plans are in place for the scheme to be rolled out city-wide in the long term.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713