Agenda item - Chair's Communications
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- Meeting of Special, Children, Young People & Skills Committee, Monday, 26th October, 2020 4.00pm (Item 29.)
29.1 The Chair gave the following communication:
There has been a lot of conversation over the last few days about free school meals during half term, following a Parliament vote to not fund vouchers.
I know colleagues will agree, and as Chair I want it on record that no one should feel shamed for needing help with food and to stress that the council, and a great many businesses and volunteers in our city, are here and able to help. Food poverty is a deeply devastating and sad reality for too many families, now being exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. No child should go hungry.
In Brighton and Hove we have had a strong focus on food poverty for a long time and since the early days of the pandemic have been running a food hub out of the Brighton Centre in partnership with Brighton and Hove Food Partnership. They are able to make deliveries direct to families who need it, and our schools and social work teams already do work to support families in need. These services receive direct funding from Brighton and Hove City Council and have also been in receipt of increased support throughout the pandemic as need has increased.
Anyone who needs this who is not already reached by our teams can use the information on the council website, the BH food partnership website or just calling 01273 293 117. Calls before noon will have a same day delivery of a food package.
Chomp have also run food groups during school holidays in our city for a while too, and while they can’t do that so much now because restrictions surrounding the pandemic, they have raised an incredible amount of money to assist with local efforts. We have also seen many local businesses come forward to offer support and we are incredibly grateful for that. Holiday hunger is a focus of our corporate plan and we will continue to work with food partners to do all we can to alleviate this in the city.
I am grateful to councillor colleagues and know that so many of us share the disgrace that children are left to go hungry in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. While we remain hopeful that the government may bow to pressure to help children across the UK facing holiday hunger, I would be grateful if colleagues could share this information about the council’s existing support services, to help reach more people.
What is important is ensuring that no child goes hungry.