We continue a full national operation to get food to vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis.

FareShare comment on the new “Winter Package” from Government to help vulnerable children

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8 November 2020

FareShare welcome this response from Government to the specific issue of supporting disadvantaged families and children during the holiday periods. Keeping our children fed and supported so that struggling parents can have less anxiety about how to feed their children during holiday periods is an important step, and was recommended in the Government commissioned National Food Strategy. This is an important step on the complex journey to make sure no one struggles to feed themselves and their loved ones in the UK and to solve this we need a Government that listens and acts. This announcement demonstrates exactly those qualities and bodes well for future important discussions on addressing poverty in the UK. FareShare continues to support those most disadvantaged communities across the UK with food, by redistributing it to local community groups who currently provide over 2 million meals a week in this way.

 

The Government announcement details the following three support areas:

  1. For Christmas 2020 to Easter 2021: Welfare Assistance Grants will be made to Local Authorities to give out to eligible households for food and bills from 1st December 2020 until the end of March 2021. This will cover the Christmas 2020 holidays (£170 million) and £16 million for food distribution charities for Christmas.
  2. Easter onwards: £220 million has been allocated to the Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF) for Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays in 2021 for all Local Authorities in England.
  3. The value of the Healthy Start voucher will be increased from £3.10 to £4.25 from April 2021.

 

Lindsay Boswell CEO, FareShare comment

“We welcome the government’s announcement of more support through the continuing Covid-19 pandemic for vulnerable children and families in the UK.

Making sure children don’t go hungry during the holidays or when schools are closed, is something FareShare and our Ambassador Marcus Rashford have been campaigning on for some time. So the extra funding for local authorities is welcome news.

But the reality is that many families and individuals inevitably fall through cracks in the system. And FareShare’s work to provide over two million meals for vulnerable people each week will go on.”

 

Marcus Rashford comment

Marcus Rashford, MBE,  England International Football player said: “Following the game today, I had a good conversation with the Prime Minister to better understand the proposed plan, and I very much welcome the steps that have been taken to combat child food poverty in the UK. There is still so much more to do, and my immediate concern is the approximate 1.7 million children who miss out on Free School Meals, holiday provision and Healthy Start vouchers because their family income isn’t quite low enough, but the intent the Government have shown today is nothing but positive and they should be recognised for that. The steps made today will improve the lives of near 1.7 million children in the UK over the next 12 months, and that can only be celebrated. I want to take this moment to reflect on what has occurred over the last couple of weeks. I am so proud of ‘us’ as a collective. ‘Us’ being the local businesses, charity workers, volunteers, teachers, social workers, carers, and key workers. Together we have demonstrated the power of kindness and compassion. We have shown that when it comes down to the wire, we will always have each other. Seeing the role everyone has played in supporting our most vulnerable children has been the greatest moment of my life. I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of empathy and understanding. I am fully committed to this cause, and I will fight for the rest of my life for it, because in my mind, no child should ever go hungry in the United Kingdom. I don’t want any child to go through what I went through, and any parent to experience what my mother experienced. I now call on the Government to collaborate with the Child Food Poverty Taskforce to guarantee that no child does. As a collective we are so powerful and we all have a role to play in this, whether it be volunteering, donating, or as simple as a kind word. Today, I’m overwhelmed with pride that we have made such significant progress. ‘We’ will not give up on our children. ‘We’ will not give up on the future of this country. I’m going to bed thankful tonight but under no illusion that there is still a lot more work to be done.”