Europe 1 exclusively reveals alarming figures on the food insecurity of French families and its consequences on children. In France, in 2023, one in five students will arrive at school hungry in the morning, according to a study carried out at the end of January by the firm Spark Market Research, and financed by the company Kellogg.
One in five schoolchildren skips breakfast: four times more than in 2016, according to a study conducted at the end of January by Spark Market Research and funded by Kellogg, unveiled on Wednesday. A third of the teachers questioned also remark that this phenomenon is increasing every year. Concern is growing, therefore, among the educational community.
Candy or sweet cakes, but no breakfast
Chloé, a kindergarten teacher in Paris replacing in priority education establishments, confides in the microphone of Europe 1. “It happens that some little ones tell me that they have drunk a bottle of milk, eaten sweets, or snacked on some sweet cakes on the way to school, which is not a real breakfast”, she reports. “Sometimes they don’t even answer anything.”
Fatigue, lack of concentration and low morale
The impact is direct on academic progress. Eight out of ten teachers note, for example, in this study, that children who come to class hungry are tired. And two out of five teachers observe a drop in student morale due to hunger. “The most glaring thing that we observe is above all at the level of concentration”, continues Chloé. “They find it difficult to carry out the proposed work since they have nothing in their stomachs,” she laments.
Free breakfasts introduced in 2019
“It happened to me several times to have children who complained of being hungry from 9:30 a.m. It’s been a long wait,” notes the teacher. Free breakfasts in schools had however been set up in 2019, when Jean-Michel Blanquer was Minister of Education, targeting more particularly disadvantaged neighborhoods and rural municipalities. Aid was then paid to communities to sustain this system, which was then somewhat disturbed by the health crisis.
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