Dame Emma Thompson
Children’s Right2Food Campaign Ambassador
We are living in uncertain and turbulent times with much division appearing in so many areas of our society. We are also witnessing an ever-widening gap between those who have and those who have not. Across the country we see families struggling to make a living and it is now estimated that over four million children in the UK are living in poverty.
Poverty means many things, but one of the most devastating effects of living below the bread line is not having access to affordable and healthy food. Food insecurity is now being experienced by children across the UK at unprecedented levels. For millions of our children not having a hot meal at school or home is a regular occurrence and this can lead to stunting, illness and an inability to concentrate or learn at school. This is the sort of social picture we used to read about in Dickens.
What is it really like for these children who so often hide their suffering as they are ashamed? What is it really like to not know where your next meal is coming from? What can adults learn from children’s lived experiences of food insecurity? And what do the younger generation believe can be done to alleviate the suffering of so many of our children?
We need to urgently deliver strong, robust policies to tackle the issues which the Inquiry has highlighted. I can’t believe the spectre of hungry children and helpless parents is stalking this very rich country in the 21st century and I feel deeply ashamed about it.
Teachers, Carers, GP’s, Youth Workers and hundreds of young people have fed into this campaign. It represents a unique opportunity for us to hear directly from those experiencing the effects of food insecurity every day, and the Children’s Right2Food Charter provides crucial direction for building a healthier future.
View more about the Childrens Future Food Inquiry