Innovative community projects that address school holiday child hunger

Author: Lindsay Graham

In the UK there is a growing issue of child hunger. ‘Holiday Hunger’ as it’s known occurs during school holidays when millions of children on free school meals go without their valuable daily meal. Lindsay Graham travelled to the USA research the countries national policy on providing ‘summer meals’ to children and young people in low income families who are normally entitled to free school meals. The meals which are free to children and young people between the ages of 2 to 18 years are provides in a variety communities settings including schools, libraries, church halls, parks and leisure centres. The USA policy which has been in place for over 25 years is fully funded by federal government and managed at state level. The policy makes use of existing resources and skills such a school kitchens and staff. Lindsay’s fellowship took in nine USA states and included visits to 11 summer meal sites, food banks, conferences and a senate hearing in Washington DC. Her report called ‘170 days’ outlines the USDA policy in case studies , gives some examples of holiday meal projects in Britain and makes recommendations to improve food provision to in the UK. The main outcome being to help tackle the hunger aspect of child poverty by linking food provision to existing education ,enrichment and child care holiday programmes.