The Children’s Future Food Inquiry’s final report and young people’s #Right2Food Charter were published on April 25th 2019.
An estimated 4.1 million children are living in poverty in the UK but we know little about how many of these children experience food insecurity, how it impacts on their lives and what could be done about it.
The Trussell Trust reports giving out food parcels to more than 500,000 people in 2014/15 of which half are estimated to be for children. Before the introduction of universal infant free school meals, 1.7 million children were eligible for free school meals on the basis of their family income – fewer than those living in poverty but many more than those receiving food parcels.
The only national measure of food insecurity reported by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates 8.4 million people are living in food insecure households in the UK. UNICEF’s analysis of this same data estimates 10% of British children are living in severely food insecure households, but this survey is based on a relatively small sample.
The evidence suggests that child food insecurity exists, and potentially affects millions of children but that the nature, extent and effects of child food insecurity are poorly understood. The problem has received scant political attention and children’s voices are absent.