Children's Right2Food is a nationwide initiative to ensure every child in the UK can access and afford good food. Led by a team of Young Food Ambassadors across the UK, the campaign calls for government action to tackle children’s food insecurity and childhood obesity caused by inequalities.
Our story so far
It all began when the Young Food Ambassadors came together to launch their very own Right2Food Charter, calling on Government to listen to their stories and those of millions of other young people across the UK who were living with increased levels of hunger and food poverty.
They delivered their Right2Food Charter to
10 Downing Street
with Dame Emma Thompson who is also supporting their advocacy.
Since then, they have joined forces with
campaign to make sure no child in the UK goes hungry.
Children's Future Food Inquiry
Our campaign was shaped by the findings of the Children’s Future Food Inquiry – a year-long Inquiry into children’s food.
The Children’s Future Food Inquiry was launched in 2018 as the first attempt to speak directly and systematically to children, young people and those who live and work with them about children’s experience of food and how it affects their lives.
The Inquiry was spearheaded by a cross-party parliamentary committee and led by partners in each of the devolved nations: Food Sense Wales, Children in Wales, Children in Scotland and Children in Northern Ireland.
What are we campaigning for?
Children’s Right2Food Commission
to monitor and improve children’s food
A nutritious start in life for
– including expanding the
Healthy Start Scheme
A healthy lunch every day – making sure all children have
Free School Meals
that need them
Stop the stigma
- take steps to make sure no child feels humiliated by hunger
Put health before profits
- businesses and government must help make the
healthiest options the easiest
“The UK is the sixth richest economy in the world -
there is absolutely no need for any child to go hungry.
The fact that they are and in increasing numbers suggests cracks in a broken food system that can and must be repaired as a matter of the utmost urgency. Apart from the moral duty we owe to children, this is a severe public health problem.”
Emma Thompson, Ambassador for Children’s Right2Food
Why is change needed?
2.5 million children
live in food insecure households across the UK.
These levels are approximately 27% higher than before Covid.
Nearly half of food insecure families with children
do not qualify for Free School Meals
because the income threshold is set too low
secondary schools are non-compliant with School Food Standards
8-17-year-olds and their families visited a food bank last Christmas holidays.
1 in 5 children
start school living with overweight or obesity
Meet our Young Food Ambassadors
Meet the Young Food Ambassadors who have been campaigning for Government to act to stop child food poverty and give every child access to a healthy and affordable diet.
As well as being a Young Food Ambassador, Dev is Chair of the Leicester Young City Council and recently won the Diana award for his food poverty activism. Dev often speaks out on holiday hunger and Free School Meals himself. He feels strongly about the influence that junk food advertising on young people.
Saffron Speaks out about the struggles of autistic young people with food and particularly the impact of food insecurity on children on the spectrum. Saffron feels strongly about families paying too much for unhealthy food and wants healthy food to be cheaper and more accessible.
Felix comes from a family of nine and knows how feeding a large family healthily can be a challenge. He campaigns about the impact of food security for larger families living in rural areas as well as issues like bullying related to childhood weight and obesity.
Jani has grown up in a single-parent home and has felt the brunt of a diet based on cheaper processed foods like pizzas and little to no fruit and vegetables. She speaks out about hunger affecting young people’s concentration at school and preventing them from achieving their goals, like playing sport, due to lack of energy.
I am a Young Food Ambassador because I believe in food justice and change. I believe we can be doing a lot more in the UK to tackle this crisis and I want to be part of a movement that sticks up for our most vulnerable children.
Asha understands the need for more support for low income single-parent families at risk of food poverty and campaigns passionately about the lifeline provided by Free School Meals, and the need for schools to be "poverty proofed" –e.g. for free water to be available for all children at schools.
Jacob has been involved in lots of exciting campaiging activity over the last 2 years – he’s contributed his own experience to the #endchildfoodpoverty campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford, written co-signed letters to Ministers and recently met with the Scottish Government to discuss his views on holiday provision and Universal Free School Meals in Scotland. He’s looking forward to talking to you about why youth voice matters in changing food and diets for young people.
From her own experience, Rabiya talks about the problem of hunger affecting school children’s concentration, behaviour and self-confidence. She doesn’t shy away from issues not usually talked about – like how food poverty is a taboo subject in BAME communities.
Beth is a determined young campaigner focusing on delivering the Charter goals in her home in Wales and making sure children have equal access to good diets across the UK. She is a strong believer that food poverty is an issue that a highly developed country like the UK should not have to face and wants the Government to listen to young people to bring about change.
I joined the Food Foundation because I have always campaigned for better school meals and for more people to have access. No child should be hungry at school. I am also the deputy member of Youth Parliament for North Devon, West Devon and Torridge and the only Young Food Ambassador in the South-West.
Ryan is a politically minded campaigner, acting as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament and advocating for children in care. He is very strong speaking on the policy changes needed to protect children’s right to healthy and affordable food, and wants to make sure the good practice taking place in Scotland in relation to the monitoring of school food is adopted throughout the UK.
Yumna is a student advocate and campaigner, elected as Youth MP for Birmingham and Chair of Birmingham Youth Council as well as being an Act4ood, Act4Change Youth Leader. Her fight for an inclusive healthcare system has led her to facilitate numerous sessions with professionals to address healthcare inequalities and speak at national conferences, fuelling her desire to learn more about global and public health. A recent TEDx speaker, ‘Re-Imagining Education To Create An Impact In The World’, Yumna works with organisations focussed on transforming the education system into one that is equitable, inclusive, decolonised and centres the views of learners.
Debbie wants to change the food environment for children in cities, which in more deprived areas often offers lots of cheap, unhealthy options and not enough fresh, healthy food that’s affordable for families.
Fayeth is a young carer and her mum and her are both epileptic. She and her little sisters are all on Free School Meals and Fayeth volunteers at her local foodbank. Fayeth speaks about food insecurity in the context of health vulnerability, and would like to see all children across all UK nations have equal access to food.
The reason why I wanted to become a Young Food Ambassador is because I am really passionate about people having a voice. It makes me feel like I am using my voice in a respectful manner and sticking up for people. My goal is to end child hunger by allowing and campaigning on Free School Meals.
I have decided to campaign because I recognise the positive impact it will bring to not only our community but everyone else around the country and globe. I also want to spread the belief that no one is ever too young to make a difference or even contribute towards a better future.
I am on the Barnet Council's youth board, an active member in my school's mental health group and am also a Young Conservative. I know what it is like receiving free school meals and this is why I joined the Food Foundation and decided to speak up, and create change for good.
I became a Young Food Ambassador because I hate the phrase 'You are too young'. If I want I can do anything and no I am not too young to do anything. If I have to stand up for my fellow humans throughout the UK who are struggling with food problems I will.
I joined Children's Right2Food because I believe that it's every family and young person's right to have access to affordable, nutritional food no matter what their income is. So I joined to give awareness on food poverty that is going on in my community and others.
I became a Young Food Ambassador as I saw the issues going on in the UK regarding poverty. It really struck me to help people become more engaged and understand what it really is. At this moment in time, a few of us are working on awareness packs to highlight what food poverty is from a young persons perspective to share with others.
I'm 14 and I became a Young Food Ambassador because I want people to hear my side of the story around food poverty. I grew up in a single parent household with my dad raising my older brother and me. We had free school meals up until last year and had to cut back so we could afford other things.
Hasan became a youth campaigner due to his strong belief that no child should go to sleep hungry. He wants to do as much as he can to help young people in a society he feels allows the 'rich to get richer' and the 'poor to get poorer'.
Gianna is on Free School Meals and studies nutrition at school, so is passionate about making sure all children both get enough food and that it is good quality. Gianna believes any remaining credit on Free School Meal cards should be rolled over and accumulated so children have more opportunity buy the more expensive, healthier options at the school canteen.
I became a Young Food Ambassador because I want to be part of a team who helps families and young people have the right to food.
Kids Food Guarantee Dashboard
The Kid’s Food Guarantee is a set of actions which we think supermarkets should have in place as a minimum if we are to effectively tackle rising levels of food insecurity.
These are actions that citizens have told us they are eager to see, and which align with existing areas of focus for food retailers.