Hungry Kids in Canadian Classrooms #LostEducation


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.
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.

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Marya R

I live in Bowmanville, and am a mom to four young boys - it can get a little loud in my house. I am a Christian, a part-time French teacher, a piano teacher and former homeschooler. I love finding the best deals, which will come in handy when our boys become hungry teenagers! We just moved to a house with more outdoor space, and I'm still getting used to life in the country (a walk around the block is a lot longer here!).

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  1. I really hate to think that any child goes hungry.

  2. They dont call it the most important meal for nothing!!

  3. Breakfast is definitely an important meal! Helps you stay focused for the rest of the day.

  4. I wish there were steady programs that help feed hungry children everywhere.

  5. Thanks for this post. It is a sad to know that such things exist for our young children and when it isn’t our kids we are faced with the problem.

  6. I know how I get when I am hungry in the morning – I cannot concentrate and think straight! Thanks for sharing!

  7. This is a sad news. I hope the government will have to do with this. Thanks to Kellogg I hope this issue will be share across canada

  8. This is so sad. The kids at our school get breakfast every morning.

  9. It’s so hard to hear about kids who don’t have enough to eat. I’m glad Kellogg’s is making these donations.

  10. Breakfast is so important. I hate to see children go hungry. I am glad Kelloggs is reaching out to help these children have full bellies.

  11. Thank you, Marya for creating awareness – not just about a serious problem worldwide, but also that there are some companies that are actually trying to do something about it. Indeed, no one can properly focus or concentrate when hungry. I personally get VERY irritable :(

    Having said this, breakfast needs to be healthy. Unfortunately, many children thrive on sugar – tasty cereals and snacks. In Israel our three favorite spreads are known to be humus, cheese and … chocolate spread. Top this with a chocolate and sugar levels are soaring! As a teacher I am sure you can know what that means in a classroom!

    HUGS <3

  12. Eating breakfast makes a huge difference!
    If I don’t have any, I just can’t concentrate!

  13. Breakfast makes a huge difference for kids that need to study & go to school. This is sad

  14. This is generous of Kellog. Breakfast clubs in Canada are very active and I am happy about that. It is sad though that many children cannot afford to have a hot breakfast and go hungry to school

  15. I am so glad that Kellogg does this in Canada! Breakfast is so important!!!!! It makes a huge difference for the kids in school when they get breakfast!

  16. I think it is such a wonderful project to ensure all kids have a chance to eat breakfast. It can’t be fun trying to study on an empty stomach.

  17. Those statistics about the number of hungry children arriving at school are sad and surprising to me…I remember choosing to go to high school earlier to have breakfast at school instead of home…because that’s when I could have all the ‘fun’ cereals. I don’t recall that many people eating breakfast in the mornings. Also , good for Kellogg’s for helping out.

  18. Wow, what a great initiative from Kelloggs!

  19. It makes me so sad to hear that there are still kids who don’t or can’t eat breakfast before school. My kids school used to have free breakfast but they don’t any longer.

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