Why Global Citizens Should Care
The UN’s Global Goal 2 aims to end hunger and malnutrition globally by 2030, but the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening progress everywhere, including in the UK where many families on tight budgets are struggling. No child should go hungry, and access to nutritious food is vital for children to learn and grow. Take action to protect the most vulnerable communities from COVID-19 and find out more about food poverty here.

Organisations across the UK, from big businesses and universities, to tiny nonprofits, have brought about a rare good news story this week by stepping in to provide food and support for families in need this half-term break.

They’ve all been encouraged by footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford in his ongoing fight against food poverty — and as of Tuesday morning, the HuffPost reported 400 responses, and an estimated 10,000 meals provided on Monday alone.  

So why are they all doing this? It’s because UK schools are off from Oct. 26-30, and that means children from low income families who rely on free school lunches won’t be accessing food at school — leading to a knock-on effect on already tight family budgets. In the midst of a hunger crisis and economic instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is feared to be tougher than ever. 

The House of Commons voted against a motion last week that would have granted an extension of the normal free school meals provision over all school holidays until Easter 2021, causing heated debate in the media and online.

The vote followed a campaign by Rashford, whose petition for the extension of the scheme earlier this month garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures in a matter of days.

The idea for widening provision of food during both school terms and during the holidays comes from the government-commissioned National Food Strategy, published in July, and has been promoted by Rashford ever since he successfully engaged the government to u-turn and extend meal support over the summer holiday.

Undeterred by the vote, Rashford last week started to highlight organisations that were offering support in their local area on his Twitter feed, and as he has done so, more and more have joined in. 

The list of organisations wanting to help has been truly heart-warming to see — and includes a whole range of businesses, football clubs, councils, educational institutions, charities, and of course restaurants and other food-related companies. Here are just a few of the beautiful responses: 


Defeat Poverty

7 Tweets of Kindness as UK Businesses, Charities, and More Unite to Feed Hungry Kids

By Helen Lock