The provision of food to a part of society with no agency, no ability to earn, no choice about where they live should be fundamental.
It shouldn’t matter on your post-code, who your parents are or whether it’s the school holidays. Kids need to eat – 365 days of the year.
690 million, nearly 9% of the world’s population, are hungry. Most of these people are in extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 a day.
But poverty comes in many forms. Not only is extreme poverty still recorded in developed countries, people can also be said to be living in poverty if their income and resources are so restrictive that they are unable to do the things considered normal by their society.
In the UK this distinction is an income of £26,000 or less per household per year which can result in missed meals, unhealthy diets and imbalanced nutrient intake.
In the UK this definition incorporates 30% of young people – meaning more young people are living in this form of poverty than any other demographic.
Malnutrition is described by NHS England as a “common problem”.
The consequences of poverty are both immediate and wide ranging – often creating self-perpetuating multi-generational cycles.
Poverty reduces opportunities - the opportunity to do well at school, the opportunity to get a good job or do well at work. Food poverty itself generates unemployment.
Poverty prevents access to information and support to enable healthy food and exercise habits. Poverty prevents access to sport, through removing opportunities, the clothes to participate and the energy to get involved.
Poor starts to life - or even, starting poor in life - has been linked to an increase incidence of heart disease and strokes – shortening the lives of people living in poverty and creating additional and un-costed burdens on the healthcare service.
Although poverty can impact children’s access to sport, it is sport itself which can be a lifeline for children in poverty.
Through organisations such as Street Games UK participants are given the skills to keep fit. Helping children to readdress some of the health inequalities they may be experiencing – creating habits which can last a lifetime.