Over the last 3 months, Be Enriched and Brixton People's Kitchen have been responding to the COVID-19 crisis by delivering food parcels and hot meals to over 200 households per week, feeding over 560 people across Wandsworth and Lambeth. During this crisis we have seen a staggering increase in need, including families with children.
It is no secret that the government's school food voucher scheme, providing families with £15 per week per child had its fair share of challenges. We were also concerned to see that it took an enormous amount of pressure from the third sector to convince the government to extend the scheme over the Easter holidays.
This week, following campaigns led by young people as well as the third sector, Manchester United's Marcus Rashford joined the discussion to urge the government to extend the school food voucher scheme over the summer holidays. Thanks to Marcus' influence, the government agreed.
While we may not be able to operate our school holiday programming as normal this year due to COVID-19, we will continue to support children and families with food parcels and hot meals. The voucher scheme may be a step in the right direction, but families are facing an unprecedented level of need, and we will be there to support however we can.
The UK is the world's fifth biggest economy, yet a new report from the Food Foundation finds that 17% of parents in London are facing food insecurity. This staggering number, along with other statistics from the report, paint a picture of just how serious this issue is in London and the UK as a whole. In London alone, up to 400,000 children face food insecurity and are at risk of going hungry.
We were pleased to see that the Mayor's Fund for London's Kitchen Social campaign hosted the city's first Children's Food Insecurity summit last month, where charities and activists came together to call for the government to take action on food insecurity and ensure the #Right2Food for all children.
We are still fundraising with the hopes to deliver the healthy school holiday project this summer. It is clear from the data that the problem is only getting worse, so our programme will be needed now more than ever. We are grateful for your support. Please spread the word about our project so that we and work together to improve food security in South London!
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