A government adviser and founding architect of the School Food programme has urged ministers to tackle what he calls ‘holiday hunger’, in the week most schools are on half term. Hundreds of thousands of children from low income families will struggle to eat healthy meals outside of term-time.
There is also evidence to suggest that children who do not receive full meals fall behind their peers when they return to school.
Carmel McConnell, the founder of the magic breakfast, a charity which works to provide more than 440 school breakfast schemes told the Guardian: “We have a lot of kids who survive [in the holidays] on the £1 chicken box and who live on crisps or anything they can get.
“Teachers tell me it takes about a month to get them back to where they were before the school holidays in terms of their digestive system, their hair, their skin, and their teeth.”
How terrible that so many children, possibly in the hundreds of thousands, aren’t getting enough of the right food to sustain a healthy lifestyle and to set them up for the future. The government must tackle this crisis urgently- it really should be a priority.
Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian over the weekend that: “In his anger, Cameron has made Britain a toxic brand.” He couldn’t have made a finer point in his editorial in which he goes on to say that: “Our European partners are not deaf”. In other words they can hear the debate going on in the UK, and they must be pretty fed up that the British Prime Minister doesn’t have a good word to say about the EU.
Cameron had the opportunity to take a different approach, to not alienate the UK from the rest of Europe who are tired of our stance.
As I have said before European politics is very much about negotiation. Discussing issues and resolving them in an amicable way. Freedland says: “Cameron could have played this differently. He could have dispensed with the macho language of threat and talked instead like a man seeking a deal.”
He goes on to say: “He has put party management first and the future of the country second. He has chosen to fight in such a way that he’s now likely to lose a battle he could have won. And it will be Britain that pays the price.”