Holiday Hunger Schemes

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:56 pm on 6th November 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mike Kane Mike Kane Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools) 3:56 pm, 6th November 2018

We will certainly look at that. I think that Mr Stringer and I would say that we are excellently served by the community schemes of both great football clubs in our city, as my hon. Friend is in hers.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead and my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields set up Feeding Britain, a charity focused on demonstrating how hunger and its underlying causes can be addressed. The United Nations estimates that more than 8 million people in the UK are food-insecure. At the moment, the Government have no way of measuring that and understanding the scale of the problem. The Food Insecurity Bill, promoted by my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields, is awaiting its Second Reading. It has a simple ask of the Government, calling on them to provide for official statistics on food insecurity. That is supported by more than 20 national organisations and, so far, more than 150 MPs from across the House. The APPG on Hunger, and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee have also advocated the measurement of hunger. Will the Minister commit today to supporting the Bill on Second Reading?

The Bill makes a cost-neutral proposal to bring the Living Costs and Food Survey into the 21st century and to enable the Government to fully understand the challenge of food insecurity, which puts more than 3 million children at risk of going hungry in the school holidays. A Bill promoted by my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead that sought to enact the recommendations of the APPG’s report on countering hunger among children during school holidays sadly did not progress on Second Reading earlier this year.

However, the Minister stated that the Government would provide funding for research and pilots on holiday provision over the summer. Feeding Britain and the APPG provided information to the Department to help inform that research and pilots. Have we had the promised announcement on the outcomes of that research and the national roll-out?