The immediate future of a scheme which aims to provide every primary school pupil in the city of Nottingham with a healthy, hearty breakfast has been safeguarded thanks to the support of two new sponsors.
City Link, the UK's premium express delivery company in the East Midlands, and Hovis Bakeries, the providers of the nation's favourite bread, have stepped in to support Business in the Community (BITC)'s Cares for Kids Breakfast Clubs. The scheme, which started last week, sees City Link delivering loaves of Hovis bread to 44 schools across the city.
It means over 1,500 primary school children in the city of Nottingham will have a healthy start to the day with toast, cereal and fruit juice.
BITC first launched the initiative in 2005 with the aim of ensuring that every primary school pupil in the city has a healthy start to the school day. It targets children who, due to various circumstances, may otherwise be unable to start their day with a meal.
Jackie Vanderwalt, deputy regional director of BITC said: "Although the scheme has operated for five years, without more support from other local businesses it was in danger of running out at the end of this school year which would have meant that from September onwards, hundreds of schoolchildren could face sitting in lessons with empty stomachs."
Jackie went on to say: "It's a well-known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even more so among young schoolchildren. An empty stomach can affect concentration levels. It is even known to have detrimental effects on attendance levels and academic achievements. Of course we do understand this is not possible in every household, perhaps due to financial constraints or family circumstances, which is why we launched the scheme in the first place. We were delighted when City Link and Hovis agreed to come on board, but we still really need more support if the scheme is to continue."
Adrian Pezzotta from Hovis Nottingham said: "We are proud to be involved with the programme and feel passionate about the positive impact this has on both the children and the community as a whole. We look forward to continuing this link for many years to come with Business in the Community".
Andy Lowery, General Manager of City Link's Nottingham depot, said: "Cares for Kids Breakfast Clubs is a fantastic scheme whose basic aim is to contribute towards giving every primary school child in the city of Nottingham the best start in life. City Link is only too pleased to become involved in community initiatives such as this, for the benefit of the children and their education."
Jackie appealed for companies or individuals who able to support the scheme through donations, or through support in kind, to contact her on 0115 924 7415.