This report highlights the issue of children in Australia going to school on empty stomachs and the far reaching impact this has on them, their schools and the wider community. The report is a summary of research undertaken by Foodbank and others shedding a light on this critical topic.

Key findings:

  • Two thirds of Australian teachers (67%) report having children come to school hungry or without having eaten breakfast.
  • On a typical day around three students in every class will arrive at school hungry or without having eaten breakfast.
  • Teachers estimate that the average student loses more than 2 hours a day of learning time when they come to school hungry.
  • On the basis of arriving at school hungry once a week, that student would lose in excess of a whole term of learning time over the course of a year.
  • 4 out of 5 teachers (82%) report an increased workload due to hungry students as the children find it harder to concentrate (73%), are lethargic (66%) or demonstrate behavioural problems (52%).
  • Schools providing breakfast to students overwhelmingly believe this contributes to student physical (97%) and mental (91%) health.
  • Schools with breakfast programs believe they impact positively to student relations with staff (83%) and the broader community (70%).
  • Every kilogram of food given to a child via a school breakfast program in Australia, provides a long term social return on investment of $110.
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