MISSISSAUGA, ON, August 18, 2014 – With another school year on the horizon, it’s time to shift the focus back to learning – but students can’t flourish and thrive in the classroom if they’re starting their day running on empty. Unfortunately, one in seven Canadian children is at risk of going to school on an empty stomach, having not eaten anything for breakfast – which experts agree is the most important meal of the day.
No one knows or understands the alarming impact not eating breakfast has on students and the classroom better than the teachers who dedicate themselves to helping these children reach their potential.
In fact, the Kellogg’s Breakfasts for Better Days Survey of active teachers across Canada reveals that when a student is hungry, the impact on the classroom and his or her ability to achieve their full potential is not only apparent but can be detrimental. A shocking 85 per cent of those surveyed characterize hungry students as being unable to concentrate, and more than half (53 per cent) describe hungry children as “unable to learn.” Fifty-seven per cent of educators note that hungry pupils are more disruptive in the classroom. And nearly three out of four teachers (71 per cent) find students to be more lethargic when hungry.
The Kellogg’s Breakfasts for Better Days Survey also found nearly half of all teachers (44 per cent) see children arrive at school hungry every day. Eighty-three per cent of teachers report the problem has not gotten any better over the past two years, and a quarter (25 per cent) of childhood educators say it has gotten even worse.
“As a teacher you strive to give your students the tools they need to succeed and achieve their potential, but when they arrive hungry it makes it so much harder,” says Michelle Conway, elementary school teacher and a former Canadian gymnast who competed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when she was only 16 years old. “As an Olympic gymnast, I knew that breakfast was vital to powering my daily success. Now, as a teacher, I see even more clearly how vital it is for all children to start the day with a bowl full of nutrition. That’s why I have been so involved in running breakfast clubs — to help fuel young minds and set them up for success in the classroom and beyond.”
The net result of hunger in the classroom is lost education. Over a third of teachers (37 per cent) believe children who arrive at school hungry lose between 1 to 2 hours of valuable learning time each day. This can add up to 388 hours or 65 school days (3 months!) of lost learning each school year.
Though the issue of lost education is happening in our own backyard, Canadians are not experiencing the effects of hunger in the classroom alone. A similar Kellogg’s survey conducted in the UK revealed that nearly a third of teachers (31 per cent) report spending more than 60 per cent of their teaching time focused on children who arrive at school hungry.
TAKING ACTION TO PROVIDE BREAKFASTS FOR BETTER DAYS
As part of the Company’s global Breakfasts for Better Days commitment, the world’s leading cereal manufacturer will donate one billion servings of cereal and snacks, half of which are breakfast, to children and families in need by the end of 2016. Since the launch of the initiative in March 2013, more than 400 million servings of cereal and snacks have been donated, 230 million of which were breakfast.
Determined to ensure no child goes to school hungry and every child is set up for success, Kellogg Canada is doing its part to help by raising awareness of the issue of lost education. Canadians everywhere are encouraged to share this infographic on their social networks using #LostEducation.
“At Kellogg, everything starts with breakfast. Beginning the day with a nutritious breakfast, like a bowl of Kellogg’s cereal and milk, is essential for children to take on the day. A bowl full of potential can be the one thing they need to reach theirs,” says Lores Tomé, Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Kellogg Canada Inc. “As a food company we understand the importance of addressing the growing hunger problem in Canada, that’s why we are committed to shining a light on this issue.”
No child should go to school hungry, and breakfast clubs can make a positive difference. The Kellogg’s Breakfasts for Better Days Survey revealed almost all (93 per cent) teachers in schools with breakfast clubs say having one positively impacts their ability to effectively teach and for their students to learn.
For more than 10 years Kellogg has supported breakfast clubs across Canada and this year, the Company is committed to donating even more and making it easier than ever for Canadians to buy a box and help feed children and families who need it the most. For every box of cereal sold, Kellogg Canada will donate $0.50, to a maximum $50,000, to its breakfast partners across the country. This is in addition to the more than one million dollars donated to breakfast clubs from coast to coast to date.
The Kellogg’s Breakfasts for Better Days initiative is being supported with a national integrated communications campaign including, print, television, online, digital, in-store and public relations.