Today the #EndChildFoodPoverty Coalition has been nominated for a Third Sector 2021 Award in the ‘Big Impact’ category.
Soil Association’s Food for Life team have worked closely with coalition partners such as Food Foundation, Sustain, Chefs in School and others to steer the campaign, spearheaded by footballer Marcus Rashford, to success this year.
In the first lockdown (March-August 2020), 2.3 million children experienced food insecurity and during the summer holidays 850,000 children reported that they or their families visited a food bank. By October 2020, many feared that the government’s decision not to provide children entitled to free school meals with lunches over the holiday period as they had done the year before, would lead to thousands of children going hungry.
The #EndChildFoodPoverty coalition is made up of many partners with decades of combined of experience in the sector, and 1.1 million members of the public, who signed a petition to parliament in October 2020.
Marcus Rashford, footballer for Manchester United and for England, lent his voice to the children who have been left behind during the pandemic. He said in October 2020, "These children matter. These children are the future of this country. They are not just another statistic. And for as long as they don't have a voice, they will have mine.”
The campaign had three goals:
- 1. To extend the Holiday Activity and Food Programme to all areas in England, to all children who get free school meals
- 2. To increase the value of healthy start vouchers to £4.25
- 3. To expand free school meals to all under-16s where a parent or guardian is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent benefit.
The first two have been supported by parliament, whilst the last one is still ongoing. There is still much work to be done.
This nomination is welcome recognition for the #EndChildFoodPoverty coalition, and we hope it will provide a springboard for further work addressing the root causes of food inequality in the UK.
Food for Life wishes the best of luck to all other nominees in Third Sector’s ‘Big Impact’ category this year. Every organisation listed has worked tirelessly to create amazing, positive change this year, and should be proud of what they have achieved.Read more about the nomination here.