New briefing paper on tackling childhood food poverty

5 January 2021
A briefing paper by the University of Leeds on mitigating childhood food poverty has found that expanding eligibility for free school meals would narrow inequalities in health and educational attainment.

The briefing paper, which was informed by a panel of experts convened by Drs Bernadette Moore and Charlotte Evans from the School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds. The panel examined current community efforts aimed at mitigating childhood food poverty and deliberated priorities for policy action.

The paper concludes that urgent action is needed from both national government and local authorities to reduce reliance on emergency food provision. Arguing that reducing childhood poverty brings life-long benefits to health and wellbeing with economic benefits to society, the paper recommends the government implements all recommendations of the National Food Strategy.

We know that food aid is not the answer to food insecurity and we’ll continue to campaign for a long term solution to end child food poverty. But we recognise that families are struggling right now so SFM will continue to support families in the Lambeth and Southwark and beyond with our Breakfast Box programme. To date we’ve delivered 545,820 healthy breakfasts and, thanks to funding from Unicef and public donations, we can deliver nutritious breakfasts throughout the February half term and Easter holidays.