It is vital children have access to regular, nutritious, healthy food. In Hackney, too many children are forced to skip breakfast and turn up to school hungry. This is unacceptable and has a significant detrimental impact on children’s concentration and learning. I support the excellent work of the charity Magic Breakfast which works with schools in Hackney to provide healthy breakfast food and expert support. Find out more about their work here.
I am also clear that more needs to be done to encourage children to make healthy choices. We know that one in three children leave primary school overweight or obese. We are failing our young people. A report by the National Audit Office (see here) addresses the Government’s poor handling of this issue in the past.
Last year, I supported the School Breakfast Bill, tabled by Emma Lewell-Buck MP, which would have created a statutory commitment to a comprehensive programme of school breakfast clubs across the country. It would have ensured every child could start the school day with a healthy breakfast. Read more about the bill here.
However due to the reduced parliamentary calendar as a result of COVID-19, this bill has now been indefinitely postponed. I have therefore joined with colleagues in writing to the Minister for Children and Families, Vicky Ford MP, to urge the Government to adopt these proposals. I will post an update as soon as I receive a response. Read the letter in full by clicking the pdf attachment below.