CSAN reports children going hungry in school holidays

Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) has submitted a response to the Holiday Hunger inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger, chaired by Frank Field MP.

The short inquiry into Holiday Hunger was called in response to widespread evidence that children who usually receive free school meals during term time can return from school holidays in a worse mental and physical condition, having gone several days without a proper meal.

CSAN's response has focussed on school holiday projects by two members, Nugent and the Cardinal Hume Centre, responding to the APPG's call for "solutions that can be driven by local communities - with support from the Government, businesses and charities - to ensure no child goes hungry in the holidays".

Both projects have been successful in de-stigmatising food provision by integrating the service within their community hubs alongside learning, play and extra opportunities for support to parents. However, staff from both projects as well as other CSAN members confirmed they had witnessed families who were unable to feed their children properly during the holidays when they go without the daily free meal provided at school.

Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) CEO Phil Mcarthy said: "We welcome the opportunity to raise our member charities' concerns about Holiday Hunger with parliamentarians. In our members' experience, food for children in the school holidays is best provided in through community facilities, as part of day-care activities for the children, so avoiding stigmatisation.We strongly encourage the Government to consider how the support which churches and charities are delivering on the ground might be scaled up to address the full extent of Holiday Hunger."

The response is available to read here: www.csan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/170315-Caritas-Social-Action-Network-CSAN-Holiday-Hunger-inquiry-response.pdf