Church calls for action to end child hunger in UK

The Church of Scotland has called for political leaders to take action to prevent child hunger, in the wake of a new United Nations report that finds children in the UK are more likely to go hungry than in other European countries.

Edinburgh East Foodbank banner
Freddi Wilson of Links Community and Rev Drausio Goncalves of Bristo Memorial Church are partnering with the Trussell Trust to run the Edinburgh East food bank in Bristo Memorial church

The UNICEF report found that 1 in 5 children in the United Kingdom are at risk of hunger compared to an average of 1 in 8 in other wealthy countries.The UK was 34thout of 41 countries on the report’s food insecurity index.

Reverend Martin Johnstone, Secretary of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council, chaired the Scottish Government’s Independent Working Group on Food Poverty, called on the Government to take action to reduce child poverty .

“It is a scandal that an estimated 1 in 5 children in the UK are at risk of going hungry because of poverty. These are not simply statistics; they represent children with names, faces and all too often empty stomachs.

“Foodbanks, breakfast clubs and community meals do a spectacular job trying to alleviate this crisis but we need to recognise that the fundamental problem is about the lack of money that families have to feed themselves.

“It is estimated that increasing child benefit by £5 per week would mean that 30,000 less children in Scotland would have to grow up in poverty. Surely this is the sort of bold and courageous leadership that these children need and deserve.”

See the full UNICEF report

Find out more about the report from the Independent Food Poverty Working Group