APPG on Hunger recommendations released
Statement by Matthew Patten, Chief Executive, Mayor’s Fund for London
“We welcome today’s report from the APPG on Hunger and support its recommendations for government action.
Today’s report clearly explains how just £41.5m of the Sugary Drinks Levy (i.e. existing funding) could have a massive impact on solving this problem across the country, bringing together local authorities and existing voluntary provision.
Holiday hunger among children is a hidden blight on modern-day Britain. Recent research suggests up to 500,000 children in London go hungry during the school holidays, with as many as 3million at risk nationwide. The knock-on effects of poor diet and social isolation have a serious impact on these children’s educational performance and attainment. It is not morally sustainable for the government to feed hungry children living in poverty during term-time, but leave them to fend for themselves during the holidays, returning to school at even greater disadvantage.
The report salutes the work of volunteers and charities in addressing this issue and recommends that the government draws on the Mayor’s Fund’s work with Kitchen Social to design a national programme. Kitchen Social brings together a wide range of charities, local authorities, policy makers and businesses in a campaign to help local community groups provide healthy meals and positive activities for hungry children from disadvantaged backgrounds during the school holidays. Over the next 3 years, Kitchen Social aims to help 330 local community groups across London feed 50,000 children in a programme easily scalable to a national level.”