Summer’s over and children are now back to school, but not all kids will be miffed to get back to class. Those who have been starving because they rely on the free school meals they miss over the summer will be all too keen to return. We realised that holiday hunger has become an increasingly prevalent problem but there has also been a rise in the number of selfless people, organisations and charities doing good work to tackle it.
So we started campaigning to give those groups a platform as well as looking at the underlying issues that lead to holiday hunger.
We started with moving testimonies from four mothers, Karen Rotheram, Dawn Taplin, Nichola Salvato and Anne Newbould, as they told the Work and Pensions Committee and Education Committee their experiences.
“There’s always cereal, isn’t there?”
Newbould summed up that all-too-familiar story of sacrifice as she described foregoing food herself to feed her kids with the heartbreaking comment that: “There’s always cereal, isn’t there?”
Just days later The Trussell Trust, the UK’s leading foodbank charity, revealed that they gave out 20 per cent more emergency food parcels last summer than the previous summer. As many as 87,496 parcels were distributed as they absorbed the increased summer demand.
These personal testimonies were backed up by Professor Greta Defeyter. She heads up Northumbria University’s Healthy Living Lab and told us that central government’s £9.1m is enough to help 50,000 kids, not the three million who are estimated to be experiencing holiday hunger.