A government social outcomes report estimates that of the 4.6 million children that live in poverty only 1.3 million receive free school meals. It is estimated that 3 million children in the UK suffer from holiday hunger. With inflation on the rise, these numbers are only getting worse, and the battle to solve this issue continues.
Internationally renowned charity, Penny Appeal, are targeting children during the UK holiday seasons to ensure they don’t go hungry. Since Penny Appeal’s inception in 2009, the charity has worked to ensure the life changing projects it operates abroad are also serving those most in need here in the UK.
The charity’s Holiday Hunger programme was launched several years ago and has since been serving food, which include meat packs, non-perishable food items and frozen meals, to thousands of children across Yorkshire and Humberside, the Northwest, West Midlands, and East and West London, during the school holidays. This year, they are planning to feed hundreds of children across the Christmas Holidays.
After Britain’s energy industry regulator confirmed an 80% rise in the consumer price cap from October, we are expected to see the worst living standards across the UK since the 1950’s. The Ukraine conflict and the effect of the coronavirus pandemic are also expected to continue driving up inflation.
It has been estimated that more than 1 million more people will face poverty this winter, pushing UK deprivation levels to its’ highest level in two decades. Experts have predicted that this will also result in an increase in avoidable deaths with families struggling to make ends meet.
Penny Appeal are preparing for the critical Christmas holidays, where they will continue to expand their reach and serve more children at risk of holiday hunger, and they are determined to continue their efforts in the hope that others will also do the same.
The charity’s Founder, Adeem Younis (pictured), said: “This is just not good enough, the Government needs to be pre-empting the impact holiday hunger will have on the lives of millions of children, and act accordingly. I am astounded at how reliant this country has become on the charity sector regarding an issue as extreme as this one. In today’s day and age, the thought of parents going without food so they can feed their children is just absurd. As the founder of one the leading Muslim charities in the UK, I am most saddened by this. It has now become the norm that as a charity we find ourselves not only feeding starving children in the poorest countries in the world, but also here in the UK too! There is only one word that comes to my mind, “shameful!””