Crisis in the Classroom: Teachers Reveal Shocking Impact of Students Coming to School Hungry
Survey Reveals Hunger Drastically Affects Kids Both Emotionally and Academically; New Award Celebrates Volunteers Who Make a Difference
Aug 22, 2017
MISSISSAUGA, ON (August 22, 2017) – As children prepare for back-to-school, a crisis is emerging in Canadian classrooms. New research reveals that hunger not only impacts a child’s ability to learn, but also affects the social interactions of the one in five children in Canada who start each school day hungry because there isn’t enough to eat at home.1 Teachers say this emotional stress can affect the entire classroom, raising the importance of ensuring every child starts the school day well nourished. Across Canada, breakfast clubs play an important role in setting up students for success, and this year, a new award will recognize the volunteers who make a difference through these vital school programs.
The facts around hunger in Canadian classrooms are alarming, according to the fourth annual Kellogg’s Breakfasts for Better Days Survey of Canadian school teachers. A startling 95 per cent of Canadian teachers surveyed agree that children who start the school day without eating breakfast, on average, engage less and perform worse academically than those who have had breakfast.2 And 87 per cent of surveyed teachers also agree that children who don’t eat breakfast are more reserved and less interactive with other children in school.2
“For teachers in the classroom, it’s not hard to see the negative impact hunger has on kids,” explains Paul Jones, Radio Voice of the Toronto Raptors and a former Elementary School Teacher and Principal. “I remember kids who were hungry had a tough time connecting with others and they were generally more disruptive. We saw that kids who ate breakfast often came to class happier and more eager to learn. Ask any teacher: the positive effects of eating breakfast on a child’s academic and social experience are obvious.”
KELLOGG’S BREAKFASTS FOR BETTER DAYS SURVEY OF CANADIAN TEACHERS: RESULTS
Experts recognize that hunger can affect concentration and learning. This year’s annual survey raises new concerns beyond academic performance. When kids are hungry it can result in troublesome behavioural issues:
- 93 per cent of teachers agree that hungry children are more irritable and disruptive in the classroom2;
- On average, teachers estimated that children who come to school hungry lose up to two hours a day due to lack of productivity – that’s one-third of the school day or almost four months in a school year.2 This equates to more than four years of a child’s school career from Kindergarten to Grade 12!;
- 86 per cent said students who are hungry are more likely to engage in bullying than their peers3;
- Two-thirds of surveyed teachers observed that hungry students struggle to make friends3.
“This is not just someone else’s problem,” continues Mr. Jones. “Hunger makes students disruptive, which makes it more difficult for teachers to teach. Lost productivity can become an issue for every single student in the class. Ultimately, it’s in everyone’s best interest to ensure all students start their school day ready to learn. That’s why school breakfast clubs are so crucial.”
THE KELLOGG CANADA FEEDING BETTER DAYS AWARD
The survey results emphasize the vital role that breakfast clubs play in the success of students. Among teachers surveyed who are working in a school with a breakfast program, nearly all (98 per cent) said that it delivers positive results.3
Most breakfast programs in Canada rely on generous volunteers who give their time to run breakfast clubs across the country to help make a positive difference in the lives of students, inside and outside the classroom. To recognize and reward these community heroes, Kellogg is introducing The Kellogg Canada Feeding Better Days Award and is calling on Canadians to nominate someone who has positively impacted the lives of students as a Breakfast Club volunteer.
The winner will be recognized with a $10,000 donation to enhance the school breakfast program where they volunteer. The contest is open from August 22 to September 15, 2017 and entries can be submitted through www.KelloggsFeedingBetterDaysAward.com. Entrants will be asked to share how their nominee goes above and beyond. Do they bring creativity to the breakfast meals? Do they encourage fun to help the students socialize? Do they help build confidence and self-esteem among the students?
“At Kellogg, we’re passionate about fighting hunger and feeding the potential of children and youth,” says Lores Tomé, Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Kellogg Canada Inc. “As a long-standing supporter of breakfast clubs, we are honoured to introduce The Kellogg Canada Feeding Better Days Award to recognize the passion, dedication and hard work of the volunteers making a difference in the lives of Canadian students every single day.”
As part of the program, the company is encouraging Canadians to get social and share its #FeedingBetterDays Infographic to show their support and further raise awareness of the issue of childhood hunger.
“This back-to-school season, think about the real difference school breakfast programs and its volunteers make in the lives of kids,” concludes Mr. Jones. “If you can, donate time or money to a local initiative to help those in your community. And nominate an outstanding volunteer for this new award. In addition to recognizing their hard work, their school may receive $10,000 to invest in their breakfast club facility to help young people succeed, whether that’s buying more equipment or expanding their space. Talk about a win-win!”
ABOUT KELLOGG CANADA INC.
Driven to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter, Kellogg Canada is the leading producer of ready-to-eat cereal in Canada. Every day, our beloved brands nourish families so they can flourish and thrive. These include All-Bran*, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes*, Corn Pops*, Eggo*, Froot Loops*, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes*, Kashi*, Kellogg's* Two Scoops* Raisin Bran, Mini-Wheats*, Nutri-Grain*, Pop-Tarts*, Pringles*, Rice Krispies*, Special K* and Vector*. And we’re a company with a heart and soul, committing to help create 3 billion Better Days by 2025 through our Breakfasts for Better Days global purpose platform. To learn more about our responsible business leadership, foods that delight and how we strive to make a difference in our communities around the world, visit www.kelloggcompany.com. To learn more about Kellogg Canada’s efforts in these areas, please visit www.kelloggs.ca.
* © 2017, Trademark of Kellogg Company used under licence by Kellogg Canada Inc.
1Let’s Do This – Let’s End Child Poverty for Good: Campaign 2000 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada. Campaign 2000. Toronto, Canada. 2015 *http://www.campaign2000.ca/reportCards/2015RepCards/NationalReportCardEn2015.pdf
2ABOUT THE KELLOGG’S BREAKFASTS FOR BETTER DAYS SURVEY From July 25th to July 28th, 2017 an online survey was conducted among 405 randomly selected Canadian elementary, middle and high school teachers who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
3ABOUT THE KELLOGG’S BREAKFASTS FOR BETTER DAYS STUDY From July 18th to July 22nd, 2016 an online survey was conducted among 403 randomly selected Canadian elementary, middle and high school teachers. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.