Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the City of Durham, has today raised her concerns that many children across Durham will go hungry over the summer holidays as family budgets are stretched alongside children not having access to the meals that are provided for them at school.
Over 71,500 children in the North East will not receive the free school meal they are eligible for during term time. Of these, 13,656 of these children live in County Durham, so the issue of holiday hunger affects a large number of children in the area.
Roberta has campaigned on the issue of holiday hunger for many years, and has talked with a number of councils across the region to find out how they work to combat this issue, such as funding events for children that include a meal as well as fun activities, and to share best practice throughout the North East.
As wages continue to fall in real terms due to rising inflation, and families are finding it harder to get by, Roberta will continue to press this issue with the Government, Durham County Council and local schools.
"I think it is totally unacceptable that so many children are at risk of going hungry over the summer holidays in our communities, and I have campaigned on this serious issue for many years now.
Child poverty is at a seven year high, and wages are falling, meaning that families are worse off. Every child deserves to be well fed every day, and I will be pressing the local authorities and the Government to ensure a fully funded scheme in put in place in the future to ensure that no child goes hungry over the summer holidays.”
Roberta attending a holiday hunger event organised by Gateshead Council