The Breakfast Clubs Appeal has already raised over £27,000 and aims to generate £35,000
Teenagers from Glasgow have launched a campaign to provide free breakfasts to schools across Scotland after being inspired by footballer Marcus Rashford.
Their Breakfast Clubs Appeal has already raised over £27,000 and aims to generate £35,000 to support breakfast clubs in Scottish schools, particularly around the Glasgow region, next year.
The charity Magic Breakfast has agreed to match the £35,000 target, which equates to 12 schools in Glasgow being directly funded throughout 2021, with further schools in deprived areas across Scotland also receiving support to feed hungry and vulnerable children.
Across the UK, around 1.8 million school age children are at risk of starting the day hungry, which has a serious impact on their educational attainment, attendance, energy levels, and behaviour.
Nearly one in four Scottish children live in poverty, with 65% of all children in poverty living in households with at least one person in work – a crisis which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
England and Manchester United star Marcus Rashford, who received an Expert Panel Special Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday, has successfully campaigned for free meals for schoolchildren to help combat food poverty.
Seventeen-year-old Glasgow pupils Azaan Sarwar and Abbie Shenken and their friends were inspired by the footballer to launch their own campaign in Scotland.
The fundraising drive is being led by the Glasgow-based Sarwar Foundation established by Azaan’s grandfather, former MP Mohammad Sarwar, in conjunction with the charity Magic Breakfast
Magic Breakfast provides nutritious breakfasts to schoolchildren across Scotland and England, normally reaching as many as 4,000 children in Scotland every school day.
Azaan said: “Abbie and I were motivated by Marcus Rashford’s campaigning work to research ways of helping families in need across Scotland.
“We discovered that Magic Breakfast already does incredible work to ensure children don’t start the day hungry, but there are more youngsters they could help.
“I really hope we can make a positive difference for hundreds of children in Glasgow and across the country following such a difficult period for so many.”
Perveen Sarwar from the Sarwar Foundation, who is Azaan's grandmother, said: “I’m incredibly proud of Azaan, Abbie and their friends who are determined that no child is too hungry to learn.
“This is a project to help people in these unprecedented times and make a real difference for young children in Scotland.
“When kids start the day hungry it has a detrimental impact on their mental health and their learning, but if they receive a breakfast they are more focused, have more energy, and are ready to learn. The Sarwar Foundation is very excited to be working with Magic Breakfast to raise money for this fantastic cause.”