Child Food Poverty: What next after the Government's U-turn on Free School Meals?

07.12.2020 - By The Food Programme

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Last month, footballer Marcus Rashford wrote an open letter to MPs calling for them to continue funding free schools meals during the summer holidays. He called for support to a petition started by teenage campaigner Christina Adane, and within hours, the Government responded. All children eligible for free school meals in term time in England would benefit from the ‘Covid summer food fund’. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would also continue with voucher programmes. But funding would stop, Boris Johnson confirmed, after the summer.

So what then?

In this programme, Sheila Dillon is joined by two young campaigners on child food poverty Jani Clarke and Shane Robinson who've been hearing from young people across the UK with first-hand experiences of food poverty in their communities. They explain how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected home life and access to nutritious food. And why they are working with food campaigning charity The Food Foundation to demand more action from the UK government in their updated Right2Food charter. Sheila also asks actor and campaigner Dame Emma Thompson on why she's calling for the Government to listen to these young people.

Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement Debbie Weekes-Bernard explains how the pandemic has affected opportunities for families living in food poverty, and journalist Louise Tickle describes the potential long term impact on children’s' access to education and opportunities should food poverty figures rise in the UK.

Presented by Sheila Dillon
Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury

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