Food Poverty: Academic Year

Department for Education written question – answered on 30th January 2020.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for holiday hunger that resulted in the piloting of funding for free holiday activities and meals for disadvantaged families.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

In January 2018, following the All-Party Parliamentary Group report “Hungry Holidays” and the subsequent Private Members' Bill introduced by Frank Field, we announced a programme of research and pilots to explore ways of supporting disadvantaged families during school holidays.

The department awarded £2 million of funding to 7 organisations to deliver free healthy food and activities to children and families in some of the most disadvantaged areas in the country during the 2018 summer holidays. The organisations informed us that with this money they were able to support around 280 clubs and reach around 18,000 children.

In summer 2019, we invested £9 million in 11 local authority areas reaching around 50,000 children and we will announce the winners of the summer 2020 bidding round in due course.

We have commissioned an independent evaluation of the programme which will be published in 2020.

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