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Vulnerable Groups

Food Insecurity: Who is at risk and what are the solutions?

In 2020, headlines on foodbank Britain and children missing meals propelled food insecurity into the spotlight. But the issue is nothing new – it was highly prevalent before Covid-19 and will continue beyond it.

How does food insecurity happen and what can be done to prevent it? Our tracker will try and find answers to these important questions. We’ll identify barriers to accessing an affordable, nutritious meal and follow the latest developments in the policies designed to help groups most at risk: those on low incomes, the unemployed, people with disabilities, BAME communities and children and families.

We’ll collate the latest evidence and lived experiences to better understand the impact of diet inequalities on people’s lives and find opportunities for better responses and lasting solutions.

View our UK Food Tracker in full

Campaigners encourage government to invest in school caterers to provide substitute meals rather than vouchers

School Food Matters and other children’s food charities write to Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson CBE MP, highlighting that school caterers are best placed to feed children well during these difficult times, and that school staff will be able to keep in touch with vulnerable children who may have multiple needs. The letter encourages the government to use free school meal funding to invest in catering services where possible, rather than turning to supermarket vouchers first.

Read the letter here.

Schools close: government publishes plans for supporting children eligible for free school meals

Following the announcement on March 18th that schools would be closed from the end of that week, the government publishes its plans to support pupils eligible for free school meals, announcing that students will be offered meals or vouchers as an alternative if they can no longer attend school due to coronavirus measures.

Campaigners call on government to help feed children living in poverty during school closures

In response to the possibility of school closures, The Daily Mirror covered a letter signed by the Food Foundation which calls on the government to ensure provisions are made for children who are reliant on free school meals, as well as for those who are living in poverty but are not eligible for the entitlement.

Anna Taylor, Executive Director of the Food Foundation, said: “1.5 million children depend on school meals for nourishment. These children are from the poorest homes in the country. Parents and children alike tell us how much they rely on this meal for vital sustenance. Special measures must be put in place to support these children and their families in the event of school closures.”