Although the UN charity has not said as much, some people feel that this intervention could have been avoided if the government – who preside over one of the richest countries in the world – had offered more support.
It took a hard-fought campaign from footballer Marcus Rashford as well as pressure from Labour for the government to provide food vouchers to underprivileged children over the summer holidays. But despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic and its devastating economic effects were far from over in October, the Tories voted against extending the scheme over half-term. Campaigners estimated that doing so would cost around £20m: less than what the government has allocated for the “Festival of Brexit” in 2022.
Over the Christmas holidays, Unicef will be providing food parcels to economically disadvantaged children in south London and provide a grant of £25,000 to the School Food Matters charity.
Breakfasts and fruit and vegetables will be provided to vulnerable families in Southwark where up to a quarter of residents are experiencing food insecurity.
While this support is welcome, people are furious that it’s even necessary.
The government will help to provide children with free meals over the Christmas holidays, again in part because of Marcus Rashford’s campaign.
Unicef’s intervention is targeted particularly at Southwark because of its high rates of food insecurity.
indy100 have contacted the Department of Education for further comment.