Shropshire school pupils given free breakfast

Hundreds of students at secondary schools in Shropshire received a free breakfast before the half term break thanks to a joint initiative.

Michelle Clarkson from Grove School’s catering team with the loaves of bread for the school's breakfast initiative
Michelle Clarkson from Grove School’s catering team with the loaves of bread for the school's breakfast initiative

Shropshire Council teamed up with The University of Leeds, Bagel Nash, Co-op and Bidfood to deliver the free meals to Grange Primary School in Shrewsbury, Stokesay Primary School, Grove School in Market Drayton and Lacon Childe School in Cleobury Mortimer.

The schools were provided with bagels and bread to give to their students at the start of the day.

The cost and delivery of the scheme was met by a collaborative effort, including donated bagels from Bagel Nash in Leeds, Bidfood cash donation, Schools Wellbeing grant, Shropshire Council’s Shire Services, and the schools themselves. The scheme was supported by MidCounties Co-op, which stored all the products before they were distributed.

Staff at the Radbrook Co-op agreed to store the items before they were distributed to local schools

Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are committed to ensuring all of our pupils realise their potential, and starting the day with a nutritious breakfast will ensure our young people are ready to learn. Eating a healthy breakfast has long been associated with promoting children’s health, but research shows a healthy breakfast can also improve academic performance as well.

“This is another excellent example of partners coming together for the benefit of young people in Shropshire, and I would like to thank Bagel Nash for their generosity.”

It comes after researchers from the University of Leeds demonstrated a link between eating breakfast and academic performance for secondary school students in the UK.

Adding together all of a student’s exam results, they found that students who said they rarely ate breakfast achieved nearly two grades lower than those who rarely missed their morning meal.

Lead researcher Dr Katie Adolphus, from the University of Leeds’ School of Psychology, said: “Our study suggests that secondary school students are at a disadvantage if they are not getting a morning meal at the start of the school day.

“The UK has a growing problem of food poverty, with an estimated half a million children arriving at school each day too hungry to learn. Previously we have shown that eating breakfast has a positive impact on children’s cognition.

“This research suggests that poor nutrition is associated with worse results at school.”

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