ALMOST 20,000 free breakfasts will be handed out to students this year in the wake of the Coalition’s moves to scrap grants for the poorest pupils.
St Helens College announced it is providing the meals, following reports that worrying numbers of children in the town are going without breakfast.
This number of free breakfasts is up by just over 8,000 from the previous year.
The college is currently in the second year of offering breakfasts to all its students, a decision that was taken following the demise of the education maintenance allowance.
A spokesman said: “We wanted to continue to support students, but it also helps in terms of improving punctuality and boosting concentration.”
Among the number are approximately 2,000 sixth form students, who are also entitled to a free breakfast that includes toast or porridge with a drink.
The free breakfast scheme runs from 8.15am to 8.45am.
The college is also set to provide students between 16 and 18 with a free lunch, following a recent Government decision to allow pupils to receive the meal while attending further education colleges.
Director of customer relations and marketing Julia Callaghan said: “It is fundamental that as a college we support, safeguard and ensure the wellbeing of all of our students.
“In such difficult economic times, it is important that the college provides students with the best possible start to the day.”