One in three school children are starting class without having eaten breakfast, according to a new report.

The research was conducted by Foodbank, one of Australia’s leading food relief organisations. Out of 532 teachers surveyed, three quarters of them said student who skipped breakfast had concentration problems, and 82 per cent of the teachers said it increased their workload.

The Red Cross is fighting the problem by providing free breakfasts to primary school children.

Red Cross volunteer Violet Lord said “a lot of these students never have good food, or they come without lunch.”

The Good Start Breakfast Club provides breakfast to children before school in areas that need it the most. The prpgram teaches students the importance of a nutritious start to the day. Since it began in 1996, the program has served more than 43,769 meals to primary school children. The program operates in the Shoalhaven and is deisgned to put all children on the same starting block.

The Foodbank research found 91 per cent of teachers said initiatives like the Good Start Breakfast Program enhanced student learning ability. Local teacher, Karen Welch said the “students are fully prepared and alert at class time and are generally more engaged in learning.”

Good Start Breakfast clubs also provide budget and nutrition advice to parents, and raise awareness about how poor nutrition choice can affect a child’s learning.

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