A group of over 30 organisations, including Food for Life, other national charities, businesses and academics, are calling on the UK administrations to commit to eliminating ‘Holiday Hunger’ for all children in the UK.
The letter, sent to the relevant Secretaries of State and Cabinet Secretaries, congratulates the Welsh Government on their support, but calls for other UK Governments to commit to eliminating the social injustice of ‘Holiday Hunger’ by taking the following actions:
- Sign up publicly to the shared ambition to eliminate ‘Holiday Hunger’ in a decade
- Initiate ring-fenced funding for holiday provision with an associated UK research programme that will inform long-term policy
- Support sharing of good practice and evaluation to underpin sustainable approaches
The full text of the letter, with signatures, can be read here.
Rob Percival, Senior Policy Officer at Food for Life said:
“A commitment from government to eliminating 'holiday hunger' is long overdue. It is unacceptable that children in the UK today are going hungry. Coordinated action is needed to ensure that families are supported to access sufficient food to make up a healthy diet throughout the school holidays. A number of schools are already working with local partners to provide a vital safety net during the holidays, but national leadership is lacking. This is not an issue that should be left to the third sector and local actors alone to resolve.”
Kath Dalmeny, Chief Executive at Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming added:
“A wide-ranging group of organisations and individuals including charities, businesses, academics and funders, are increasingly concerned about the number of children struggling to eat enough or going hungry during the school holidays. Throughout these periods, parents have the challenges of managing increased childcare demands, heavier domestic bills and the cost of providing extra meals. Children living in these circumstances often experience multiple difficulties including hunger, poor-quality food, social isolation, learning loss and family tension. The impact of this can mean children return to school having fallen behind and in a poorer physical state than when they left school and the end of the previous term. We need a combination of action from national and local government alongside non-statutory partners to rebuild and enhance the safety net for families in poverty.”