The number of school children enjoying free school breakfasts in Carmarthenshire has risen by three per cent since last year.
The rise has been welcomed by Carmarthenshire Catering Service, which runs the Primary Free Breakfast Initiative on behalf of the Welsh Assembly.
Currently, 107 of the county’s 118 schools are taking part in the scheme, with an average uptake of 34 per cent – three per cent more than when last reported.
Uptake at individual schools ranges from eight per cent at the lowest, to 90 per cent at the highest.
The figures mean Carmarthenshire has one of the highest uptakes across the whole of Wales.
The clubs are open from 8am, and pupils enjoy a free breakfast consisting of a choice of non sugar-coated cereal, toast, fruit and a glass of milk or fruit juice.
Catering services manager Sandra Weigel said: “We are delighted that so many schools are recognising the benefits of a good healthy breakfast and are signing up to our breakfast club initiative.
“Breakfast has long been recognised as the most important meal of the day and evidence shows that a healthy breakfast is linked to better health, concentration and behaviour in our schools.”
Cllr Gwynne Wooldridge, executive board member for education and children’s services, added: “It is fantastic to see children gathered together before the school day to enjoy a healthy breakfast.
“The clubs not only provide an extra service to parents who may need to drop their children off at school earlier than normal, but also gives children a good start to the day – it helps them maintain a healthy, balanced diet, and helps them to concentrate on their work when they get in to the classroom.
“Of course we are also delighted with the recent Assembly announcement that the breakfast clubs will be protected from budget cuts.”
Club02 low (picture is dated January 2010): Rhianna Lewis and friends at Llannon School Breakfast Club. Pic Jeff Connell