A group of over 30 organisations has called on the government to commit to eliminating holiday hunger in a decade.
The issue known as holiday hunger affects families who rely on free school meals during term time and find the school holidays a challenging time to feed their children.
A letter, signed by organisations such as The Children’s Food Trust, Soil Association and Sustain, has been sent to the relevant Secretaries of State and Cabinet Secretaries calling for ring-fenced funding for holiday provision with an associated UK research programme to inform long-term policy.
Kath Dalmeny, chief executive at Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, said: “A wide-ranging group of organisations and individuals including charities, businesses, academics and funders, are increasingly concerned about the number of children struggling to eat enough or going hungry during the school holidays.
“Throughout these periods, parents have the challenges of managing increased childcare demands, heavier domestic bills and the cost of providing extra meals. Children living in these circumstances often experience multiple difficulties including hunger, poor-quality food, social isolation, learning loss and family tension. The impact of this can mean children return to school having fallen behind and in a poorer physical state than when they left school and the end of the previous term.”
The Welsh Government recently announced a year of funding (£500,000 for 2017/18) for ‘Lunch and Fun’ clubs in areas of need during the school summer holidays.