A recent report by a cross-party group of MPs states that the school holidays leave 3 million children at risk of hunger. The report gave evidence of children in poorer families surviving on a holiday diet of crisps, or alternatively existing on stodgy, unhealthy diets of cheap food bought in bulk to fill them up.
Furthermore, studies have shown that children experiencing extreme hunger are vulnerable to malnutrition which will undermines their ability to receive an education and ultimately lead a healthy, positive life.
Moreover, the report confirmed there was a significant negative impact on children who had gone hungry over the holidays. They frequently return to class malnourished, sluggish and dreary and completely unprepared to learn. This means that these children start the new term significantly behind their more fortunate peers who have enjoyed a holiday of activity and a more wholesome diet.
The children at risk include over 1 million receiving free school meals during term time and a further 2 million with parent who work but are still experiencing poverty.
There are some local churches, charities and voluntary organisations aimed at feeding hungry children when the school canteens are shut, who do provide free meal and fun projects during the holidays. The positive impact on poorer children who attended these sessions is huge, involving better behaviour and a return to school in a much improved condition. Unfortunately, the provision is sporadic and piecemeal and cannot be viewed as a sufficient response to a problem of this scale.
Complete Kidz provides cost-effective Holiday Camps during the school holidays. Prices are very competitive and lunch can be provided, free of charge, if required. Children have the opportunity to participate in art, cooker, dance, music and lots of healthy sport. For more details, visit our Kidz Zone page.
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