Over a million children have gone hungry this summer

Government figures suggest that millions of children across England have gone hungry over the summer holidays, with the worst affected those eligible for free school meals.

Analysis from the Trussell Trust has revealed a 20 per cent increase in the number of food parcels that were given to children in the summer holidays in 2018 compared to the previous year. And it appears that the situation is worsening, with the Labour Party stressing that the worst affected children are the over 1.25 million children who are eligible for free school meals, who have missed out over the holidays. Nearly three million more were at risk of going hungry over summer.

Government figures show that 30 per cent of children (over 4.1 million) across England are living in poverty, in families that may not be able to afford adequate food. Current government funding on holiday hunger supports less than four per cent of all children who are currently eligible for free school meals, leaving over 1.2 million of those children with no additional support over the holidays.

Steve Reed, Labour’s Shadow Children and Families Minister, said: “Millions of children have faced a summer of hunger after years of inaction by a government that has let child poverty grow into a crisis. No country that loves its children would allow children to spend the summer going hungry instead of enjoying their holidays.

“These figures should be a wake-up call for the government to take urgent action to tackle the scandalous levels of child poverty in our country. The next Labour government will end the cuts and make Britain’s children their priority.”

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