RightsCast
Holiday Hunger: The Right to Food and Free School Meals (with Candice James and Imogen Richmond-Bishop)
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Holiday Hunger: The Right to Food and Free School Meals (with Candice James and Imogen Richmond-Bishop)

In England, 1.3 million school-aged children rely on Free School Meals throughout the year. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has launched a food voucher scheme to ensure that children who were missing school do not go hungry. However, by planning to end the voucher scheme before the summer holidays, the government is leaving children to go hungry and increasing the strain on local organisations already struggling to meet the basic needs of desperate families across the UK .


In this episode, we hear from Candice James, who manages a community centre in Brixton and works directly with families who rely on free school meals or who have been newly plunged into poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Imogen Richmond-Bishop of Just Fair and Sustain, who are preparing to take a legal case to prevent #HolidayHunger.

Many have spoken out about this issue and are placing pressure on the government to reverse their decision to end the food voucher scheme, including 16-year-old student Christina from London and footballer Marcus Rashford. You can read more about their campaigns here:

The Good Law Project and Sustain’s campaign: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/dont-let-children-go-hungry/

Christina’s petition: https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-don-t-take-away-lunches-for-1-3-million-kids-on-free-school-meals

Marcus Rashford’s letter to MPs: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jun/15/protect-the-vulnerable-marcus-rashfords-emotional-letter-to-mps

Candice James is Manager of Loughborough Community Centre at Max Roach in Brixton, South London. Twitter: @can_jam

Imogen Richmond-Bishop is Communications, Research, and Advocacy Manager for Just Fair, an organisation which monitors and advocates for the protection of economic and social rights (ESR) in the UK. She is also the Right to Food project coordinator for Sustain: The Alliance for Better Food and Farming.

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