12 Mar Food Fight…
It has been quite a start to the New Year in Westminster with unprecedented turmoil and indecision
across the government with Brexit looming ever closer. However in the midst of the media circus in January,
9 young food ambassadors between the ages of 10 and 20 made their way to the House of Lords
to meet with parliamentarians and civil society experts to share their experiences of food poverty.
It completely staggers me that here in the UK, a wealthy country, there is a need for children to lobby
government for food, a basic right. And it’s not just a small percentage either, 1 in 4 children who don’t
receive free school meals skip lunch because they simply can’t afford it.
Every mum wants to do the best for their children and give them the best start in life. The first thing you
do as a mum is feed your child. I have two boys and sitting down to share a meal as a family is a great
joy. I can’t imagine how helpless a mum must feel when she has to watch her child go hungry, to go to
school without breakfast.
The Trussell Trust, the largest UK food bank network provided 41,000 food packages in 2009, in 2016 it
was 1.2 million. Even with this kind of intervention the situation is not getting any better. As a parent, I
find it difficult to explain to my 6-year-old why I need to put food in our local supermarket food bank as
in his eyes you just eat when you’re hungry.
January’s visit was part of the Children’s Future Food Inquiry, a series of workshops involving over 300
school children from disadvantaged communities which were conducted by Fixers. The aim of this was
to give children a platform to openly discuss their experiences of eating at home, at school and to give
their thoughts about food and health. All of this research formed part of the discussion that the children
travelled to the House of Lords for. Their hope is that their visit will highlight just how serious a problem
food poverty has become and help them to achieve their belief that everyone has a right to eat
I applaud the children who went and spoke so bravely in Westminster, who at such a young
age are prepared to fight for what they believe. Let’s hope real change is effected and that every mum
in the UK has the chance to give their child the best start.
*The Food Foundation is an independent think tank that tackles the growing challenges facing the UK’s
food system in the interests of the UK public For more information on the Food Foundation and the
Children’s Future Food Inquiry please visit https://foodfoundation.org.uk
Twitter: CFFinquiry #FoodFight