Holiday hunger is a serious issue that many children in the UK face every single year. There are around 170 days in the year where children aren’t in school and, during this time, they might not be getting the meals that they need to live in a healthy way. As the government starts to make some changes to the way that they deal with holiday hunger in the midst of COVID-19, we ask – can we end holiday hunger in the UK for good? Read on to hear our thoughts.
What Is Holiday Hunger?
If you have never heard of holiday hunger, you have probably not experienced it. In the UK, some of the most deprived areas have communities of children who rely on school meals to get through the day. When school is closed for the summer or holidays throughout the year, these children might not get the same amount of food at home. Often, during school holidays, low-income parents will have additional costs due to a lack of childcare and this can worsen the issue over time.
What Is Being Done?
After a public outcry, the UK government is starting to realise the extent to which holiday hunger exists in the UK. As more parents were on reduced incomes as a result of COVID-19 and schools were closed for a much longer period of time this year, more children have been going hungry. Premier League football player Marcus Rashford led a campaign to end holiday hunger in the UK, raising money himself and campaigning for the government to do this same. This is something which was echoed by the Tej Kohli Foundation which strives to end holiday hunger.
As a result of the campaign, the government pledged that 1.3 million children in England would be eligible to receive meals from a “COVID summer food fund”. While this was a massive improvement, it certainly did not benefit all who were struggling from this issue.
Can We End It?
According to foodbank and charities in the UK, the government could be doing a lot more to end holiday hunger. With the money that was found to provide free meals during COVID-19, it is clear that the government has the ability to fund this kind of thing in the future.
With more notable people and some great foundations taking control of the situation themselves, we are looking forward to seeing this issue eradicated in the future. There is certainly cause to believe that we can live in a world where holiday hunger is not a major issue in the UK.
Hopefully, over time, more people will become aware of the issue and we can work together as a community and nation to end holiday hunger. For now, getting these families through this tough time should be the main priority for campaigners and the government.