We have been shining a light on the underlying problems behind holiday hunger and the organisations tackling the issue all summer.
Now the summer is over and the kids have returned to school, we are taking our campaign to the next step – we are asking you to sign a petition to stop one of the most significant drivers of holiday hunger.
From what we’ve learned, it will take a significant increase in investment and a rethink of our food system to conquer the issue once and for all.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t make small changes to lift the burden that hard-up parents face every summer.
We have learned that the arrears system is a significant contributing factor to holiday hunger.
At the moment, there are 44,321 people on Universal Credit with childcare entitlement, and half a million families who will be able to claim when the roll-out of the controversial benefits system is completed.
Under the current rules, up to 85 per cent of childcare costs can be claimed, with up to £646.35 for one child and £1,108.04 for two or more children per month.
But the problem is that this money is paid in arrears. For a parent on the breadline facing an increase of up to £832 in childcare costs over the summer holidays, this is a significant dent in the budget.
This discrepancy sees families pushed into the red or parents forced to give up work to take care of children instead – the opposite of what Universal Credit was supposedly intended to achieve.
We think this is a scandal and a significant driver of holiday hunger. So we are asking you to support us in demanding the government change Universal Credit to stop this happening.
Sign the petition here