Today, Wednesday 20th December 2017, End Hunger UK, a collection of national charities including Food for Life, faith groups, frontline organisations, academics and individuals working to tackle food poverty in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have published a new report: A Menu for Ending Hunger in the UK.
The report contains a ‘menu’ of 9 recommendations set out to tackle food poverty in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, including a call for Government to commit to safeguarding child nutrition, every day of the year, including over the holiday period.
The report states:
‘Governments must recognise the problem of holiday hunger – and address the root causes, alongside providing funding for local authorities to provide free meals and activities for children during the school holidays.’
- A statutory requirement for local authorities to facilitate and coordinate the delivery of free meals and fun for children during school holidays, with utmost flexibility granted over the actual delivery methods used.
- An adequate funding base, combined with an invitation to businesses to add to this base, to enable local authorities to meet their statutory duties.
- National minimum standards laid down by the Department for Education, in respect of the safe and effective delivery of free meals and fun for children during school holidays.
- A national portal which enables those individuals and organisations delivering free meals and fun for children during school holidays to receive the training, information, advice and guidance they need to at least meet the national minimum standards.
- A robust research base to guide the ongoing development of projects.
- The measurement of hunger amongst children during school holidays
“It is shocking that, in a country as wealthy as the UK, there are still children going hungry. During term time school meals play a vital role for children’s health and wellbeing. However, for many families it is a challenge to cover the additional cost of meals that would normally be eaten at school. Inadequate nutrition has been shown to have a negative impact on children’s development and attainment, with many returning to school after the holidays in worse health and having fallen behind their classmates. Food for Life is supporting End Hunger UK’s call for MPs to sign up to the School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill which will be debated by MPs on January 19th.”
How can you help?
- Write to your MP requesting they sign on to the bill
- Call your MP’s constituency office: Express your concern about food insecurity and holiday hunger in your community. Ask that they support the bill on the 19th January!
- Get Tweeting: Share our posts (@SAFoodforLife) and Tweet your MP