This week in Parliament, Sharon helped announce the winners of the Kelloggs' Breakfast Club Awards 2015, which she also helped judge.
Sharon, pictured here with Liz McInnes MP, Member of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton and Shadow Communities and Local Government Minister.
There have been countless stories of children fainting during mid-morning lessons because of a lack of healthy food, or any food at all, on a morning or even the night before and are running on empty when they arrive at school to learn.
The Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Awards celebrates the best breakfast clubs from across the UK who help to address the issue of children going hungry before school and when the awards were announced in September over 500 schools entered.
Sharon took part as one of the expert judges of the awards, along with: Peter Watson, Primary Times Editor; Sally Whittle, writer of ‘Mummy Blogger’; Lindsay Graham, School Food Advisor; Professor Greta Defeyter, Director of Health Living at Northumbria University, and; Simon Langley, Headteacher of Broadstone Hall Primary School in Stockport, which was a previous winner of the Kelloggs’ Breakfast Club Awards.
On the day, Sharon presented the awards with Jonathan Myers, Kellogg’s Regional Vice-President for the UK and Ireland, and Mr Burton of Educating Yorkshire fame.
Each winner was awarded a prize of £1,500 for their breakfast club. The overall winner was given £2,000. A runner up from each category received £500.
Speaking after the event, Sharon (pictured above with Liz McInnes MP, Member of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton and Shadow Communities and Local Government Minister) said:
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and sadly in today’s society we see children fainting mid-morning because they haven’t received the food that morning to keep them going at school, or even the night before.
“That’s why it was wonderful to recognise all the hard work and dedication from the entries to the Kelloggs Breakfast Club Awards who provided a healthy breakfast to those children who need it, along with an enriching and educational environment to start their school day.
“Thanks must also go to Kelloggs for once again recognising the work that goes into providing breakfast clubs to children and young people, and I hope that after this year’s award there can be a real move forward in providing for those children and young people who go hungry at the beginning of the school day.”
The categories and winners of each are as below:
Long Life and Sustainability: Johnson Fold Primary School, Bolton
Extra Learning: South View Junior School, Basingstoke
Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle: The Rowans, Kent
Community Involvement: Severn View Food Project
Breakfast Club Hero: Helen Walker, Greenland Community Primary School, Co. Durham
Best Breakfast Club (Wales): Oakfield Primary School, Cardiff
Best Breakfast Club (Scotland): St Winnings Primary School, Kilwinning
Best Breakfast Club (Northern Ireland): Lisnagelvin Primary School, Londonderry
Best Breakfast Club (England): Penine Way Primary School, Carlisle
Overall Winner: Beechlawn School, County Down, Northern Ireland
To find out more about the Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Awards please follow the link, including a video from Mr Burton on the ‘Winners and Runners Up 2015’ webpage: http://www.kelloggs.co.uk/en_GB/kelloggs-breakfast-club-awards.html
Sharon welcomes the launch of the APPG School Food's Holiday Hunger Task Group's 'Filling the Holiday Gap Update' Report. The update report can be read here.
In the lead-up to the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review on Wednesday 25th November, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for School Food’s Holiday Hunger Task Group today published their ‘Filling the Holiday Gap Update’ report nearly a year after the Task Group’s creation.
The ‘Filling the Holiday Gap Update’ Report provides a snapshot into some of the best holiday provision projects and research currently seen across the UK. The update report calls on the Government to:
- fund for the development of resources and training for organisations to deliver and support new and existing holiday provision programmes;
- research into scale of child hunger in the UK and its effect on learning, and;
- develop policy to support holiday provision programmes that include meals and enrichment activities.
The issue of child holiday hunger has been a concern of the APPG for School Food for many years with the publication of the APPG’s position paper ‘Filling the Hunger Gap’ in 2013 and the creation of the Holiday Hunger Task Group in December 2014.
The Holiday Hunger Task Group brings together academics, organisations and individuals who are keen to address the issue of child holiday hunger.
Since the Task Group’s inception it has hosted their first national conference in June 2015 at Sheffield Hallam University to launch their ‘Filling the Holiday Gap’ ten point guide for organisations to use when providing food during holiday periods. You can read this ten point guide here.
Speaking before the launch of the report, Sharon - pictured above with Roberta Blackman-Woods MP (City of Durham) at a local holiday provision provided by Gateshead Council who feature in the update report, said:
“The social injustice of child holiday hunger is an issue which has historically failed to be addressed by government and we know that this lack of any concerted effort to address this issue is holding the next generation back from achieving their full potential.
“That is why since the creation of the Holiday Hunger Task Group last year, it has been wonderful to see the group achieve some ground-breaking and influential work in raising awareness of the issue of child holiday hunger and bringing together best practice and research from across the country into how best we address this pertinent issue.
“I welcome the testimonies from all those involved in this report and I hope that this update will provide the necessary vehicle for my fellow Members of Parliament and Government Ministers to support the Task Group’s desire to work towards seeing no child go hungry during the school holidays.”
Lindsay Graham, who chairs the APPG’s Holiday Hunger Task Group and is the author of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust’s ‘170 Days’ Report, said:
“I am staggered that we are in 2015 and the UK wide issue of children going without their daily free school meal, their right to play, socialise, be safe and achieve is being denied.
“I commend the work of those individuals and organisations supporting children and their families with food and activities in a safe community environment. Christmas is looming and for many we met this summer it will not be a time of celebration.
“I hope that the policy makers will actually read the testimonies in this report and help change the way we deliver services. This issue cannot be addressed by one sector alone and that is why we are looking to government to support our call for research, funding and policy that can help close this inequality gap.”
Sharon Hodgson MP’s victory in securing commitment from Prime Minister to protect Universal Infant Free School Meals at PMQs.
Image copyright BBC Parliament, 2015
Sharon Hodgson MP has written to the Chancellor George Osborne following a number of constituents' concerns over rumoured cuts to universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) in the Autumn Spending Review.
Sharon Hodgson MP (right) pictured here with fellow APPG School Food member and Vice-Chair Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, and Carrieanne Bishop, former Chair of LACA (left), supporting National School Meals Week "the great free school lunch - eating better together campaign" in Parliament in 2013. Image copyright NSMW/LACA 2013.
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for School Food, has hit out at the Government over their failure to address child hunger during the summer holidays after a damning report researched by YouGov for Kelloggs showed more than six out of ten parents with household incomes of less than £25,000 said they weren’t always able to afford to buy food outside of term time.