Poverty stricken families are turning to school breakfast clubs for a free meal to keep themselves from going hungry.
Poor parents, brothers and sisters are joining pupils at one in five of the schemes run by charity Magic Breakfast.
Founder Carmel McConnell said: "More and more schools are giving out food to parents and siblings. Families have seen the cost of food rise and rise while wages have stayed the same.
"You hear some people talk about whether they can eat or heat their homes and of teachers bringing in food for pupils.
"Schools feeding families may not just help the pupil but also help parents to better understand good nutrition and pass that on to their children."
The charity's breakfasts – which include bagels, porridge, orange juice and cereals – are available in schools where more than 40 per cent of pupils are eligible for free meals.