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Arla puts MPs’ skills to the test in ‘No Breakfast, Breakfast Meeting’ - highlighting the experience of four million children at risk of starting their school day hungry

Dairy cooperative joins forces with charity Magic Breakfast to hold the 'No Breakfast, Breakfast Meeting,' highlighting the physical and social impacts of food insecurity facing millions of young people in the UK

Startling figures reveal that a devastating four million* children in the UK are living in homes struggling with food insecurity. As a result, millions of schoolchildren are at risk of starting their day without breakfast, impacting their mental and physical development and significantly hindering their ability to learn.

Arla, the dairy cooperative owned by farmers, is taking action to address this issue with a new initiative, the ‘No Breakfast, Breakfast Meeting,’ asking politicians, with the power to make a difference, to commit to making real change.

As part of its ongoing partnership with Magic Breakfast, a charity that works to ensure no child in the UK is too hungry to learn, Arla has been raising awareness amongst MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum to highlight the impacts of morning hunger in children, by giving political participants a glimpse into the realities and effects this can have on our bodies and minds.

Guests were invited to a Breakfast Briefing with a twist. Half the MPs were told to eat breakfast and the rest told not to – demonstrating how millions of children across the UK experience food insecurity and as a result arrive at school too hungry to learn. Guests were then challenged with performing a series of cognitive tasks, giving them a glimpse into the physical, social, and emotional impact of missing out on a breakfast. Together, Arla and Magic Breakfast look to address this widespread issue that is only growing as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

The results of the challenges, designed by behavioural science expert, Dr Simon Moore, revealed that those deprived of breakfast were up to 80% more likely to fail the tasks, such as the buzz wire challenge and stoop tests.

Unsurprisingly, those who hadn’t eaten since the night before complained they found it ‘difficult to concentrate,’ and hard to ‘fully engage with others attending’ because they were simply ‘too hungry’ or ‘distracted by their rumbling stomach’.

After feeling the effects of going hungry, 100% of those attending the ‘No Breakfast, Breakfast Meeting’ agreed to put their weight behind a new commitment to Back Breakfast.

Dr Simon Moore, Behavioral Science Expert said, “When solely considering adult behaviour, the effects that a continued lack of breakfast has can severely impact cognitive, social and physical functioning.  However, when shifting this focus to a much younger development group, I.e., children, the effects also have huge impacts on growth, social interaction and have been shown to provide a barrier to positive and effective learning experiences.”

“These crucial early years in a child's life are fundamental to their future cognitive and physical development, which is why raising such awareness, like the ‘No Breakfast, Breakfast’ event, hopefully brings about the urgent action that is required.”

The ‘No-Breakfast’ Breakfast meeting, sponsored by MP David Mundell, is the next stage in Arla and Magic Breakfast’s commitment to #BackingBreakfast, by bringing together politicians to help them understand the issue and in turn help to re-write the future of free school breakfasts for children in England.

Rachel Campbell, Arla Brand and Sustainability Director said, “No child should ever have to start the day hungry and with the number of children facing morning hunger only set to increase with the ongoing rise in living costs, it is essential urgent action is taken. That’s why we’ve joined forces with those in power, to raise awareness of the issue and to back the provision of free breakfast for children who need it the most, so every child can start each day with the essential nutrients needed to grow and fuel learning.”

Arla and Magic Breakfast have worked together since 2020 and donated enough Cravendale milk to fill more than ten million cereal bowls. Together they are raising awareness of the issues surrounding morning hunger to help re-write the future for the next generation.

Lindsey Macdonald, CEO at Magic Breakfast said, “Millions of children and young people across the UK risk starting their school day without breakfast. The cost-of-living crisis has plunged even more children into food insecurity so now is the time for immediate change.  With our valued partner Arla, the ‘No Breakfast, Breakfast Meeting’ is raising awareness of child morning hunger and encouraging a clear solution.  A free school breakfast is a cost-effective investment in our children’s learning with immediate and long-term benefits to society - that’s why we are calling on the Government to act and ensure free school breakfasts are equally offered to all children who need it.”

To find out more about Arla and Magic Breakfast’s partnership, visit  

*The Food Foundation

Contact Information

Elizabeth Newton

07980 948159

For all media enquiries please contact the press office on 07980 948159.