Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council
Cllr Rory O’Broin, Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Climate Sustainability
Cllr Will Sweet, Cabinet member for Education and Children’s Services
Ensure every child in Wandsworth eligible for free school meals has access to healthy food in the holidays
We are writing to ask for your commitment to invest in children’s health by improving their access to healthy and nutritious food.
Covid-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities including food insecurity and health inequalities in the UK, with children and families disproportionately affected. We know there is a problem with food insecurity and hunger otherwise the free school meal scheme would not be in place. It is clear that schools are a lifeline for many of our most disadvantaged families, providing children with access to healthy, nutritious food during term time. This doesn’t go away in the holidays.
It is more important than ever that children are ensured the best start in life and have access to fresh, nutritious and culturally appropriate food.
The Wandsworth Council promise of £10,000 in vouchers for the October holidays was simply not enough. This only covered some of the children who have a social worker or are receiving support from Wandsworth’s children’s services department. However, more than 5,700 children receive free school meals in Wandsworth. We welcome the recent funding news from National Government, but still have concerns.
Children need to be provided with nutritious food all year round. Poor nutrition affects physical growth rate and ultimately height. It has also been linked to low concentration levels, cognitive development and under performance academically.
With this in mind we the undersigned back the following three calls to action.
1) Ensure all children eligible for free school meals are able to access food over the Christmas holiday period
2) Commit to ensuring all children eligible for free school meals children are able to access food over the Spring and subsequent half term holidays in 2021
3) Formulate an action plan to target childhood food insecurity and ensure that no child goes hungry
Wandsworth’s children are counting on you!
Lead Signatory Anna Clark, Partnership Co-ordinator, Wandsworth Food Partnership
Charities and organisations
Orode Faka, Director, R.O.C.K.S International Arts Ltd
Mary-Ann Foxwell, Chief Executive, Citizens Advice Wandsworth
Kemi Akinola, CEO, Be Enriched
Aaron Barbour, Director, Katherine Low Settlement
Nikki Rossner, Fundraising Events Manager, Regenerate, Ashburton Youth Centre
Juliet Snow, Programme manager, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Adopt a School Trust
Stephanie Slater, Founder/CEO, schoolfoodmatters.org
Kevin Victory, Partner, Hudsons Restaurant, Konnnigans restaurant, Cleavers butchers, Riverside Restaurant
Usama Siddique, Manager, Meat and Shake
Sarah Kettel, Director, Cookies That Count
Vittoria Veltri, Founder and Director of Pasta n’ Play
Matt McClymont, Owner, The Schoolhouse