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Report reveals 'horror of hunger among children during school holidays'

Categories: Articles:Social Justice, Resources:Social Justice, Resources:Human Rights | Published: 04/05/2017 | Views: 519

A cross-party group of MPs and Peers has published a report detailing the “horror of hunger amongst children during school holidays”.Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), along with various schools, councils and foodbanks, submitted evidence of children going without food in the holidays.



The report estimates that three million children are at risk of Holiday Hunger, identifying it as a significant and growing problem.

The report highlights the struggle parents on low incomes face to cover the additional costs of feeding their children outside of term time, when they no longer receive a free meal at school.
 
This is above all an issue in the six weeks of summer holiday. The report describes children vomiting or dropping out of physical activity sessions as they had not eaten properly for days.
 
Crucially, the report concludes that those children who exist on an impoverished diet during the summer return to school “malnourished, sluggish, and dreary” and “several weeks, if not months, intellectually behind their more fortunate peers who have enjoyed a more wholesome diet and lots of activity during school holidays”.
 
Phil McCarthy, CEO of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), commented: “We endorse the focus on this issue, which several of our member charities in different areas of the country have witnessed. In our response we sought to highlight the role of projects offering food and community activities and we are pleased that the report has identified how such initiatives can tackle both hunger and isolation
The call for a national effort to eliminate Holiday Hunger is welcome and necessary.”
 
The cross-party group called on each of the political parties to commit themselves in their General Election manifesto to use a tenth of the monies that will be raised from the sugary drinks levy for 'healthy pupil' projects, to fund a national programme of free meals and fun during school holidays.

Read the report here:
 
The CSAN response to the APPG’s inquiry can be found here:
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