In preparation for the start of the school term in September, national food redistribution charity, FareShare is campaigning for an increase in fresh fruit suppliers to provide surplus produce to the charity, to aid hundreds of breakfast clubs in giving children a healthy start to their day.
Research shows that children who eat a healthy breakfast before the school day starts benefit from better concentration and are twice as likely to perform well in tests. Yet with some families struggling on low incomes, or working long hours, not every child is able to eat a nutritious breakfast at home, and breakfast clubs help to fill this gap.
During the last school year, the number of children’s breakfast clubs supported by FareShare grew by 14%, to 324 clubs, with fruit particularly in demand because it is healthy and easy to serve. That demand is expected to grow as more schools join the Sugar Smart programme and swap high-sugar fruit juices for more natural alternatives.
FareShare already works in partnership with AMT Fruit, IPL, Mack, Richard Hochfeld, Rodanto and Worldwide Fruit, but is keen to partner with more fresh fruit suppliers to redistribute surplus produce that may be “slightly less than perfect” but is still good to eat. Easy to prepare fruit such as bananas, satsumas, grapes and melons, are particularly welcomed by breakfast clubs.
Colin Burcombe, Commercial Manager at FareShare, said: No matter how efficient food businesses are, it’s inevitable that at some point they will find themselves with surplus produce for a whole host of reasons, from weather changes to order changes or produce becoming out of spec. We’re appealing to fruit fresh suppliers to work with us to ensure their surplus is put to the best possible use, so that children can enjoy a healthy start to the day and a good start in life.
Clarissa, a 10 year-old pupil at Deptford Park Primary School, whose breakfast club is supplied by FareShare, said: “I have more energy to work and play because I get my breakfast at school.” Her classmate, Isabella, added: “Thank you for making sure I’m not hungry, my stomach’s always full because of the food you give.”