• Jayda Etienne

Ending Food Poverty: Britain's Done Waiting For The Government

#ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY has been trending on twitter the past few days in support of Marcus Rashford’s attempt to get the government to provide meals for Britain’s poorest children during school holidays.

Though most MPs voted against providing 1.4m disadvantaged children in England with £15-a-week food vouchers during holidays until Easter 2021, British hospitality businesses have rallied behind Rashford’s End Food Poverty campaign, and stepped in with offers to help by providing free meals to children in need.

The hospitality industry has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures. The sector has suffered record job loss, and nearly 300,000 further jobs at risk without targeted government aid, according to some of the industry’s largest pubs and restaurants

groups. Despite this, hundreds of restaurants around the UK are determined to help struggling families in their local area by providing free meals.

The pandemic has been difficult for everyone. The news is inundated with stories of people losing their jobs, students isolated in university accommodation, businesses struggling to stay afloat...

...and new analysis by poverty campaigners estimate that 1 million pupils have recently signed up for free school meals, for the first time.

In light of this, the government’s inability to put aside party politics and support a policy designed to help Britain’s most vulnerable children is shameful.

While the widespread support Rashford’s End Child Food Poverty campaign received outside of parliament has highlighted the kind spirt of British people, and reminded us of the greatness that can be achieve when people work together to help those in need...it’s tragic that such an effort is necessary.

Parliament should not need to debate whether hungry children deserve a meal.

The national support of Rashford’s campaign should act as a wake-up call to the MPs that voted against extending free school meals.

The role of government isn’t to normalise poverty and hunger, it’s to eradicate it.

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