Action for Children helps thousands of children with food during lockdown

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Making sure vulnerable children don't go hungry shouldn't be a debate, it should be a given

  • Action for Children’s key workers have helped feed 2,400 children across the country during lockdown, via the charity’s emergency coronavirus appeal
  • 41% of children supported by Action for children through the appeal needed help with food
  • Recent analysis from the charity showed over 8.5 million children living in families with savings less than the average monthly income before the coronavirus crisis hit

Case study available for interview: ‘Part-time dinnertime supervisor Louise Foden from Stoke-on-Trent is mum to 14-year-old Tom and his five-year-old sister, Emily. Louise’s husband Mark is a full-time carer for Tom, who has learning difficulties and is supported by Action for Children. Tom has had a weekly food hamper delivery from his school since lockdown and Emily receives free school meal vouchers - both of these will stop in July if the government doesn’t extend the support to over the summer holidays.’

Imran Hussain, Action for Children’s director of policy and campaigns, said: “We should care about our children going hungry in the holidays just as much as on school days. This shouldn’t be a debate, it should be a given. After three months of lockdown, stopping free school meals at the start of the school holidays will be a body blow to fragile family budgets. The Government did the right thing in the Easter holidays, it now needs to do the right thing for the summer.

“Action for Children’s key workers are battling to help frightened families come out the other side of this but are overwhelmed by the sheer desperation of parents who fear they won’t be able to stop their children from going hungry this summer.

“Millions of families were struggling even before coronavirus hit and are quickly reaching breaking point. The government needs to act now by extending its free school meals support to stop children from going hungry, as well as helping them beyond the summer by increasing child benefit by £10 a week.”


Media contact

Huw Beale, Action for Children media team – 07718 114 038 / [email protected]

Out of hours: 07802 806 679 / [email protected]

Notes to eds

  • Action for Children’s emergency appeal has been helping families cover the cost of essentials like food, nappies and utility bills since 19 March 2020. In total it has helped 6,032 children through the appeal, 2,477 of whom needed help with food. Please visit for more information about the appeal
  • Action for Children found 8.5 million children were living in families with savings less than the average monthly income, by analysing the latest available regional data from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) for the years 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/8. A regional breakdown of FRS requires three-year averages to be robust.