UK children face some of the worst food insecurity in Europe, says UNICEF

By agency reporter
June 16, 2017

End Hunger UK, a coalition which includes Church Action on Poverty and other charities, is calling on the Government to improve provision of free meals for children during school holidays – and to start measuring the scale of food insecurity in the UK.

The calls come after a report from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) revealed that the UK has some of the worst food insecurity in the European Union. According to the report, nineteen per cent of UK children now experience food insecurity that limits their access to decent food, whilst ten per cent are living with severe insecurity, which means hunger and going without meals. In Europe, only Lithuania, Bulgaria and Romania have worse levels of food insecurity.

Josh Fenton-Glynn, End Hunger Campaign Manager, said, “It is simply not acceptable that one in 10 children in our country lives with severe food insecurity. We are only finding this out now because our government refuse to measure the level of food insecurity – and it is increasingly clear that government policies are causing the number to rise. With school holidays coming up, more families will be struggling to feed their children. Locally and nationally, we need action to tackle holiday hunger and other forms of food insecurity.”

End Hunger UK is a coalition of many national organisations, including Child Poverty Action Group, Church Action on Poverty, Fareshare, First Steps Nutrition, Food Ethics Council, Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty, The Food Foundation, Food Matters, Nourish Scotland, Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, the Trussell Trust, Independent Food Aid Network, and Magic Breakfast.

*UNICEF used nationally representative data from a worldwide UN survey to develop the first global estimates of food insecurity among households with children under age 15. The full report is available here

* End Hunger UK will launch its new campaign to tackle holiday hunger at City Hall in London on 27 July. Find out more here

*Church Action on Poverty


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