Political leaders from all parties have rallied behind The Independent’s Christmas Appeal to help feed hungry schoolchildren.
For the Government, Education Secretary Justine Greening said donations would make “a real difference” to the prospects of needy youngsters.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised the Felix Project and The Independent’s Help A Hungry Child campaign, which readers can support via our appeal. Mr Corbyn said he had himself seen how it created healthy meals from food that would have gone to waste, adding: “It is so important to encourage community action like this.”
Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “I commend the Felix Project for the part they are playing in making sure children are getting a proper meal.”
The campaign is tackling food poverty, which affects some 70,000 children in London alone. Together with partner charity the Felix Project, we aim to ensure children in schools in deprived areas have access to sufficient food.
Market stalls are being set up in 120 schools giving out healthy, free food, which children can take home to their families and cook for dinner.
Ms Greening said: “I welcome the work of the Felix Project, which is helping support those families who need it the most, and would encourage everyone to get behind their Help A Hungry Child project. Your donations will make a real difference to the lives of children.”
Ms Greening said her aim was that “no child should go hungry”. Already, some 1.1 million children get free school meals, and the Government is investing £26 million in breakfast clubs.
Mr Corbyn said: “Hunger and poverty prevent children from reaching their potential, affecting concentration at school and leading to illness and disease.
“It cannot be right that in one of the world’s richest countries, four million children live in poverty.
“There is clearly enough food to go round; I have seen the vanloads of produce turned into healthy meals by the Felix Project instead of being thrown away.
“I am delighted to give this campaign my support.”
Sir Vince said: “Britain in 2017 should not be a place where children are going to bed hungry. We must end the scandalous situation — tackling this must be a national priority.”
The first Felix stall in Stanhope primary in Greenford, west London, has been a huge success. Children collect produce in paper bags at the end of the day. The food, delivered by Felix Project vans, is donated by supermarkets, wholesalers and other suppliers and would otherwise have gone to waste.
In two years the campaign aims to reach 50,000 children.
Every £1 donated will guarantee a primary school pupil and their family food for a nutritious meal.
Every £500 will allow a new school to enrol in the programme. The cash raised will also support Felix’s partners.
A star-studded telethon last week helped the appeal smash through the £500,000 barrier.
Here are the ways you can donate to our Christmas appeal:
Call – 08000 639281 (freephone)
Text – FELIX £5 TO 70700
Click – independent.co.uk/helpahungrychild
Post – Freepost HELP A HUNGRY CHILD
Want to help a hungry child? Join our Facebook group now https://www.facebook.com/groups/2016636181953774/