Lindsay Graham's Story
As a registered general nurse and health promotion specialist, Lindsay Graham had long been concerned about the vast number of UK children who were going without their entitled free school meal during the school holidays.
Lindsay visited nine USA states to research the Department of Agriculture’s federally funded ‘Summer Meals’ Programme in order to support the development of national policy on Holiday Meal Provision in the UK.
The programme sites Lindsay saw ranged from small church-run community projects in Georgia, with 20 hot meals served in a family-style setting, to large mobile kitchen truck runs in New York serving thousands of packed meals to queues of families all over the city. She also attended a Senate hearing in Washington DC on the theme of ‘Meeting the challenge of feeding America’s schoolchildren’.
Lindsay’s report has been disseminated to Ministers and organisations across all four UK regions. It paved the way for meetings with ministers from Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Deputy Prime Minister and correspondence with the NI Education Minister. Lindsay has been invite to speak at parliamentary meetings, national conferences, professional forums and third sector events, as well as numerous TV and radio interviews. Progress on policy is being headed up by Wales with its announcement of holiday provision ‘Lunch and Fun’ clubs to the tune of £1.5 million over the next 3 years, supported by the Welsh Local Government Association. The successful pilot in 5 local authorities is now planned to roll out across Wales.
Lindsay is currently working on an All-Nation children focussed enquiry into food security.
In December 2014, Lindsay was instrumental in putting together the Task Group on holiday hunger for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on School Food. The Task Group’s first national conference in June 2015 at Sheffield Hallam University saw the launch of their 10-point Filling the Holiday Gap guidance, which was developed and devised to be used as a guide for organisations setting up their own programmes of holiday meal provision. These have been utilised in projects around the UK and are the basis of research projects in universities in three UK regions.
In 2016, Northumbria University undertook a mapping project, which showed 428 holiday provision projects across the UK, and the University is now looking at different aspects of research into holiday hunger, such as health inequalities, social isolation and learning loss.
Lindsay has also collaborated with Fellows Bryce Evans and Seb Mayfield, who both investigated food poverty during their recent Fellowships. They are supporting a joined-up approach on tackling food insecurity in the UK, part of which will be a national campaign in late 2016.