The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger has published a blueprint for the elimination of hunger amongst children during school holidays.
The Group reports that:
- up to an estimated three million children risk being hungry during school holidays, with food banks and teachers reporting holiday hunger to be a significant and growing problem;
- some children have vomited or had to drop out of holiday football tournaments because their bodies simply gave up on them. They had not eaten a proper meal in the days beforehand;
- there are parents on low incomes who are staving off hunger with dinners consisting of flavoured water or cereal, in a last ditch attempt to feed their children as best as they possibly can during school holidays;
- those children who exist on an impoverished diet, while taking part in little or no activity, in the holidays return to school malnourished, sluggish, and dreary – some even lose ‘significant’ amounts of weight, while others gain a lot of weight;
- this group of children start the new term several weeks, if not months, intellectually behind their more fortunate peers who have enjoyed a more wholesome diet and lots of activity during school holidays.