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Research shows that 1 in 3 children regularly miss breakfast and 1 in 4 children have only one healthy meal a day (school lunch). To tackle this,The Mayor’s Fund for London runs an annual campaign called London’s Biggest Breakfast. This campaign raises awareness and funds to help supply free,healthy breakfasts in London primary schools and, in the future, through the school holidays. As part of the campaign this year, The Mayor’s Fund for London has partnered with Marks & Spencer to offer the opportunity for a number of children to have breakfast at a local M&S store and take part in an educational visit at the store. 

In the past year, I've been volunteering with two schools near our Head Office in Paddington , getting a first-hand experience of how difficult life can be for children in deprived areas. That is why I was very excited to hear about our 7 stores (Enfield, Uxbridge, Ealing Broadway, Pantheon, Kensington, Stratford and Lewisham) choosing to be part of this campaign, in line with their ‘In-touch with the Local Community’ pledge.

On the 18th September, I went to get a first-hand experience of London’s Biggest Breakfast in my local M&S store in Ealing Broadway. 12 boys and girls from Allen by Primary arrived at 8 in the morning to the 2nd floor café to enjoy a breakfast with a choice of fruit salad, porridge, honey and banana toast, fresh juice or smoothies. As we were clearing up, one of the little girls told me this was “the best service she ever had and the best breakfast”,which definitely made my day.

The kids then took part in a fun “buy your own healthy breakfast”, where they had to choose their favourite breakfast items from the food section of the store then scan them on the training tills. As they walked through the store with the baskets, they learned about free range eggs, organic milk and how to store food to avoid food waste. They all decided to keep the receipts as a souvenir of the day!

It was a great day for the pupils, teachers and M&S employees alike, and it was great to discover yet another way to reach out to the community for the M&S Ealing Broadway store. I have a feeling that we might have instilled the retail bug in a few of the kids and I might run into them working at M&S in 10 years’ time.

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