132 MPs unite behind bill to abolish hunger amongst children during school holidays

05 Sep 2017

Frank Field MP has presented to the House of Commons a bill, with the backing of 131 MPs from across the House, to ensure that this summer holiday is the last one in which children go hungry.

The School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill was presented to the House on its first day back from summer recess. It will receive its second reading on Friday 19th January 2018.

The bill would place a legal duty upon local authorities to ensure free meals and fun are provided for children who would otherwise go without during the holidays. Frank is encouraging the Government to ring-fence £41.5 million – ten pence in every pound raised by the sugary drinks levy – to help local authorities fulfil this duty.

The bill comes on the back of fresh evidence from the six-week summer holiday of children suffering from a lack of food. One project in the North East of England reported to Frank, ‘as the summer progressed we found that the children would come in, in the morning, and have breakfast straight away. They would then eat larger amounts at lunch time, asking for seconds […] One of the youth workers asked a child that was having an extra breakfast at 2.30pm would it not spoil his tea and he replied he would probably just have twirl from [the local shop].’

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger, which Frank chairs, found in its Hungry Holidays report that poorer children who are hungry in the holidays fall an extra month behind their peers in the new term.

Frank says: ‘If the Prime Minister were to pick up this bill and run with it, at nil extra cost to the Government, she would tackle overnight one of the great injustices afflicting children in this country: a widening of inequalities at school caused by a lack of food during the holidays. Likewise she would immediately be cutting off one of the main supply routes to food banks.’

The latest research from Northumbria University's Healthy Living Lab, showing the expansion of holiday meal clubs, can be found here.

The full list of Labour, Conservative, Scottish National, Democratic Unionist, Green, Liberal Democrat, and Independent MPs who, as of December 2017, have registered their support for the School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill is as follows:

1. Frank Field (Labour)
2. Graham Brady (Conservative)
3. Philippa Whitford (Scottish National Party)
4. Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour)
5. Heidi Allen (Conservative)
6. Nicky Morgan (Conservative)
7. Oliver Letwin (Conservative)
8. Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
9. Nicholas Soames (Conservative)
10. Dan Poulter (Conservative)
11. Ruth Smeeth (Labour)

12. Albert Owen (Labour)
13. Alex Cunningham (Labour)
14. Alex Sobel (Labour)
15. Andy Slaughter (Labour)
16. Angela Eagle (Labour)
17. Ann Coffey (Labour)
18. Anna McMorrin (Labour)
19. Anna Turley (Labour)
20. Barry Sheerman (Labour)
21. Caroline Lucas (Green)
22. Caroline Spelman (Conservative)
23. Carolyn Harris (Labour)
24. Catherine McKinnell (Labour)
25. Chris Williamson (Labour)
26. Christopher Stephens (Scottish National Party)
27. Clive Lewis (Labour)
28. Conor McGinn (Labour)
29. Margaret Beckett (Labour)
30. Margaret Hodge (Labour)
31. Dan Jarvis (Labour)
32. Daniel Zeichner (Labour)
33. Darren Jones (Labour)
34. David Drew (Labour)
35. David Linden (Scottish National Party)
36. David Simpson (Democratic Unionist Party)
37. Derek Twigg (Labour)
38. Eleanor Smith (Labour)
39. Emma Dent-Coad (Labour)
40. Emma Hardy (Labour)
41. Faisal Rashid (Labour)
42. Gareth Snell (Labour)
43. Gavin Robinson (Democratic Unionist Party)
44. Gavin Shuker (Labour)
45. Geoffrey Cox (Conservative)
46. George Howarth (Labour)
47. Geraint Davies (Labour)
48. Gill Furniss (Labour)
49. Graham Jones (Labour)
50. Grahame Morris (Labour)
51. Helen Goodman (Labour)
52. Helen Hayes (Labour)
53. Helen Jones (Labour)
54. Hugh Gaffney (Labour)
55. Ian Austin (Labour)
56. Ian Lucas (Labour)
57. Ian Mearns (Labour)
58. James Frith (Labour)
59. Jared O’Mara (Labour)
60. Jeremy Lefroy (Conservative)
61. Jess Phillips (Labour)
62. Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party)
63. Jo Platt (Labour)
64. Jo Stevens (Labour)
65. Joan Ryan (Labour)
66. John Grogan (Labour)
67. John Howell (Conservative)
68. John Mann (Labour)
69. John Spellar (Labour)
70. John Woodcock (Labour)
71. Jon Cruddas (Labour)
72. Jonathan Reynolds (Labour)
73. Karen Buck (Labour)
74. Kate Green (Labour)
75. Kelvin Hopkins (Labour)
76. Kerry McCarthy (Labour)
77. Laura Smith (Labour)
78. Layla Moran (Liberal Democrat)
79. Lilian Greenwood (Labour)
80. Lisa Nandy (Labour)
81. Liz Kendall (Labour)
82. Louise Ellman (Labour)
83. Louise Haigh (Labour)
84. Luciana Berger (Labour)
85. Lucy Powell (Labour)
86. Mark Hendrick (Labour)
87. Marsha de Cordova (Labour)
88. Matt Western (Labour)
89. Matthew Pennycook (Labour)
90. Mike Amesbury (Labour)
91. Mike Kane (Labour)
92. Neil Gray (Scottish National Party)
93. Nigel Evans (Conservative)
94. Paul Farrelly (Labour)
95. Paul Williams (Labour)
96. Philip Hollobone (Conservative)
97. Preet Gill (Labour)
98. Rachel Reeves (Labour)
99. Richard Burden MP (Labour)
100. Roberta Blackman-Woods (Labour)
101. Roger Godsiff (Labour)
102. Ronnie Campbell (Labour)
103. Rosie Cooper (Labour)
104. Ruth Cadbury (Labour)
105. Ruth George (Labour)
106. Sammy Wilson (Democratic Unionist Party)
107. Sandy Martin (Labour)
108. Shabana Mahmood (Labour)
109. Siobhan McDonagh (Labour)
110. David Amess (Conservative)
111. Henry Bellingham (Conservative)
112. Stephen Hepburn (Labour)
113. Stephen Morgan (Labour)
114. Stephen Timms (Labour)
115. Stephen Twigg (Labour)
116. Steve Reed (Labour)
117. Susan Elan Jones (Labour)
118. Sylvia Hermon (Independent)
119. Thelma Walker (Labour)
120. Tom Brake (Liberal Democrat)
121. Tony Lloyd (Labour)
122. Tulip Siddiq (Labour)
123. Virendra Sharma (Labour)
124. Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrat)
125. Wes Streeting (Labour)
126. Yasmin Qureshi (Labour)
127. Zac Goldsmith (Conservative)
128. Diana Johnson (Labour)
129. Kate Hoey (Labour)
130. Carol Monaghan (Scottish National Party)
131. Teresa Pearce (Labour)
132. Simon Clarke (Conservative)