Earlier this year a new report from the All Parliamentary Group on Hunger warned that as many as three million children would have to go hungry or rely on low quality food during the school holidays. And we know from a survey by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) that 37% of teachers said their pupils came back after the holidays with signs of malnourishment.
I know what you’re all thinking, what can I do to help? Well here are a few things:
- If you’re part of a school, you can run a scheme that grows fruit and vegetables during term-time and then give it to people who experience holiday hunger.
- If you’re an adult and you have spare time over the holidays, start-up a club or hold an event that has fun activities and provides a free basic meal.
- If you don’t have the time, and you are able to, please donate to organisations that are supporting children and their families.
- Run a fundraising event!
- You can also use your voice! Recently, at a Young NCB advisory group meeting, we discussed what it means to be a global citizen and I learnt just how important it is to use your voice. No matter what, no one can ever take away your voice, and we’re lucky enough that we have freedom of speech in this country, so use your voice! Talk about these issues that affect us, and raise awareness for causes. Telling 10 people about holiday hunger, means 10 more people are aware of the problems, so 10 more people could help, and they can pass on what they know about holiday hunger. It turns into a chain of people raising their voices, calling on holiday hunger to end, and who’s to stop us?
If you are experiencing holiday hunger, you can find help at your local food bank.
You can find your local food bank through the Trussell Trust, a 400-strong network of foodbanks that provides a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK. They also run holiday clubs, full of fun and they provide 2 meals (breakfast and lunch).
Bethan, 13, is a member of our Young NCB Advisor Group.