Written evidence from Kellogg’s UKI (CPM0025)



  1. Kellogg’s is committed to advancing our social purpose – to help tackle food insecurity. Our drive to do good is underpinned by our unusual corporate ownership structure. Our largest shareholder is the WK Kellogg Foundation – a charity established by our company’s founder to help children in poverty across the world and which he endowed with his shareholdings in Kellogg’s. Today the Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic trusts in the world and owns around 25% of Kellogg’s.


  1. In the UK, we support families in need through school breakfast clubs, foodbanks and community projects.


  1. Kellogg’s has worked with the food charity FareShare since 2010, donating surplus food for them to redistribute to grassroots organisations like homeless shelters, women’s refuges, schools and food banks. Last year we donated 15 million servings of food in this way which reached all four corners of the United Kingdom through their network of depots.


  1. Kellogg’s is the largest corporate backer of school breakfast clubs and since 1998, we have invested over £4 million. This year, we will donate £600,000 to schools in the most disadvantaged areas of the UK. With this funding, schools are able to provide breakfast for 42,000 children that might otherwise go without.


  1. Kellogg’s is also a member of Marcus Rashford’s ‘Child Food Poverty Taskforce’.


  1. Our experience in supporting over 4,000 school breakfast clubs across Britain has given us a deep understanding of the challenges facing families and schools up and down the country. 


  1. This practical understanding is supported by our ongoing research programme and regular surveys of teachers. Our most recent report No Fuel to Learn was published in January 2021 and in March, Kellogg’s will be publishing further research on the role that schools have played to support families throughout the pandemic.


  1. We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Committee’s inquiry into “Children in poverty: Measurement and targets”. We have limited our evidence to those questions where we have specific information or experience. 


Measurement and targets

How should child poverty be measured and defined?

  1. Kellogg’s believe that food insecurity and food poverty should be included in any measure of child poverty.


  1. According to the Food Foundation, 2.3 million children live in households that have experienced moderate or severe food insecurity in the last 6 months[1]. This represents 14% of adults living with children, compared to pre COVID-19 levels of 11.5%.


  1. In 2013, our research found that the poorest 10% of households spent almost a quarter of their income (23.8%) on food and non-alcoholic drink in 2012 compared with an annual spend of around 4.2% by the richest 10% of households.[2]


  1. Furthermore, lower income households have a lower intake of vitamins A and C, iron and fibre.  Fibre and iron intake per person among the poorest 20% of households are both 4.9% lower than among the richest 20% of households. Intake of vitamin A is 7.7% lower, while intake of vitamin C is 17.7% lower.[3]


  1. Households with more children, spend, on average, a greater share of their income on food than those with fewer children. Single parent households with more than one child spend the greatest share of their income on food – at 13.2% in 2012.


  1. There is currently no established government measure of food poverty in the UK (unlike the measure for fuel poverty). This is despite the fact that the average UK household spends more than twice as much on food as it does on utilities.


What has been the effect of removing from law the targets in place between 2010 and 2016?


  1. Whilst it may not bear a direct correlation, our work with schools and research suggests that child food poverty has increased over this period of time.


  1. For example, demand for foodbanks has risen sharply, exacerbated by COVID-19. New research due to be published by Kellogg’s in March 2021 has revealed that a  fifth (18%) of schools have started a foodbank since the pandemic started. A third (34 per cent) of schools delivered food parcels to pupils’ homes and 23 per cent have provided fresh fruit and vegetables to local families during the crisis.


  1. Demand for school breakfast clubs has also increased with 38% of teachers surveyed seeing an increase since schools re-opening in children arriving at school hungry and  29% have seen more children attend a breakfast club this school year (2020 – 2021)


What is the impact of child poverty and how can it best be measured?


  1. Our funding criteria for school breakfast clubs is based on the number of children at the school who are in receipt of Pupil Premium (35% or more) and we cross reference this with the Department of Education’s IDACI (Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index) information. We use this as a proxy for those children that are more likely to suffer from poverty.


  1. We know that the pandemic will result in more children being in receipt of the Pupil Premium which will make it harder to identify the children that are most in need of support. Clearer measurements of child poverty would enable us to target funds more accurately to support those most in need.


What links can be established for children between financial hardship, educational under-achievement, family breakdown and worklessness?


  1. Teachers are unanimous on the correlation between child poverty and educational achievement. Our recent research No Fuel to Learn found that 99% of teachers agree that if a child arrives at school hungry it impacts their attainment.


  1. In 2020, three in ten (29%) teachers surveyed saw a child arrive at school hungry every day and a third (33%) said they have to spend a disproportionately higher amount of teaching time with children who arrive at school hungry, than with those who don’t. This has increased since similar research was conducted in 2013 when a fifth of teachers said they have to spend more teaching time with children who arrive at school hungry.


  1. Teachers estimate that if a child arrives at school once a week hungry, they will lose 1 hour of learning on that day. If this happens once a week for the school year, they could lose 36 hours a year. This is equivalent to 1.4 school weeks a year.


  1. This could mean a child missing out on learning essential skills, like reading and writing. In the longer term, hunger could also affect exam results, which in turn could impact on their future prospects and social mobility.


  1. Importantly, hunger could cost the economy. Teachers estimate that that 10% of all pupils, or around 1 million children, arrive at school hungry once a week. If those pupils lost one hour of teaching once a week, hunger would cost the economy £5.35m a year or £27.5k a day, based on state school spending per pupil[4].


Joint working


How effectively does the Department for Work and Pensions work with other Government departments, particularly the Department for Education and the Treasury, to reduce child poverty?


  1. Kellogg’s support closer joint working between all departments. This should also include the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who hold responsibility for food poverty.


How effectively does the Department for Work and Pensions work with local authorities and with support organisations to reduce the numbers of children living in poverty and to mitigate the impact of poverty on children?


  1. Our work with Breakfast Clubs clearly demonstrates that many schools are acting as community hubs for families, helping to mitigate the impact of poverty on children.


  1. Our forthcoming research finds that a fifth (18%) of schools have now started a foodbank, a third (34 per cent) of schools delivered food parcels to pupils’ homes and 23 per cent have provided fresh fruit and vegetables to local families during the crisis.


  1. Three quarters of schools (73 per cent) also delivered items such as IT equipment to children’s homes during lockdown and 5 per cent even provided emergency loans.


  1. The situation has become increasingly worse throughout the pandemic with eight in ten teachers claiming that the January lockdown has put increased financial pressure on parents. They estimate that 20 per cent of children aren’t getting enough access to food during these current restrictions.


  1. This extra support for struggling families has been paid for by the school budget (50 per cent of schools), food donations from external sources (a third of schools), local government funding (a quarter) and support from external organisations (18 per cent).


  1. This indicates that there is more that the Department for Work and Pensions could do to work with local authorities, schools and other agencies to better target support for children living in poverty.


  1. Half of teachers surveyed felt that “government isn’t doing enough to support families facing poverty and more guidance and information on what they are entitled to would have helped the situation.”.


  1. Teachers claim that better support should have been provided throughout this crisis with increased quantity of food that can be purchased with vouchers (55 per cent), increasing Universal Credit (46 per cent) and improving access to fresh fruit and vegetables for families (56 per cent).


What would be the merits of having a cross-government child poverty strategy? How well has this worked in the past?


  1. Kellogg’s support a cross-government child poverty strategy that views child poverty and the causes of child poverty ‘in the round’ and includes food insecurity in that assessment.




February 21

[1] https://foodfoundation.org.uk/new-food-foundation-data-sept-2020/

[2] Kellogg’s and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) R3_Facts about Food Poverty ReportFINAL.pdf (kelloggs.co.uk)

[3] Kellogg’s and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) R3_Facts about Food Poverty ReportFINAL.pdf (kelloggs.co.uk)

[4] The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimate that in England state school spend per pupil averages £6,100 per year