News & Media

Hungry for change

15.08.2017

It’s a perennial summer news story – and not a happy one. Holiday hunger – the challenge of the long summer break for low-income families who rely on free school meals during term time – has been making the headlines again after a question by Shadow Education Minister, Angela Rayner, in parliament. She expressed frustration and anger at the fact that ‘millions of children are at risk of going hungry this summer’.

Almost four million children in the UK live in poverty, and public health experts and teachers have long warned of the impact of the long summer break for children’s health and ability to learn when they return to school in September. Last year, the Trussell Trust found that a fifth of parents will skip a meal during the summer holidays in order to try and ensure that their children are fed.

Of course, poor diet in children is a problem with which GPs are only too familiar. And when we launched our call-out to local organisations seeking funding to tackle local health issues, the Warrington Wolves charitable foundation asked us for £1,600 to help them fund drinks and meals for more than 160 children taking part in their summer activity programme, as part of their efforts to tackle this issue head-on.

We’d love to hear your views. Is this a concern for families you work with during the summer?