Project Description

FOOD IS A RIGHT
NOT A PRIVILEGE

FOOD IS A RIGHT
NOT A PRIVILEGE

Ensuring the right to adequate
food is realised for all children,
young people and parents.

THE ISSUE

Food poverty can affect children, young people and their parents.  From impacting on children and young people who lack free school meals out of school term time, parents on low incomes who are going without food so their children can eat, or even those working whose salary leaves them struggling to buy food or pay for their heating.

THE MISSION

We want to see Northern Ireland as a leader in ending food poverty by taking a rights-based and cross-cutting approach towards protecting and progressing the right to food.

STRATEGY

  • The right to food should be enshrined in law and appropriate legal and regulatory structures introduced to guarantee its protection, respect and fulfilment.

  • Creating strategic policy coherence and a new NI Right to Food Bill which should adopt a holistic approach to the right to food, with the identification of principles, rights holders and duty bearers.

  • A comprehensive set of statutory targets and monitoring mechanisms to report annually to the Executive on progress made on statutory targets, as well as issue guidance to public authorities on how to meet their right to food duties.

Thanks to this work and our community partners, fewer children faced hunger.

EXPECTED
OUTCOMES

  • Improved mental health and wellbeing for young people.

  • Improved nutrition during summer holidays.

  • Improved educational achievement and no loss of educational memory.

  • Increased confidence and skills.

  • Reduced poor health through nutrition and exercise.

  • Improved employment prospects and progression (OCN qualification).

  • Potential to reduce anti-social behaviour in the summer.

  • Higher levels of social interaction and participation.

  • Increased confidence, health and wellbeing.

RESEARCH &
FURTHER INFORMATION

In June 2017 the All Party Group on Children & Young People held an Evidence Session in Stormont to provide an opportunity for various organisations to give evidence around holiday hunger so the APG could gain a deeper understanding of the context of this problem as well as its impact on children’s development and to make recommendations for its prevention.

Children’s Right to Food
Children in Northern Ireland is part of a Parliamentary Inquiry into Children’s Future Food.  It has the support of a cross party group of 14 parliamentarians and two All Party Parliamentary Groups. It also has the support of the Children’s Commissioners in all four UK nations. This support reflects the growing concern across the UK of the impacts of poverty on the diets, health, development and wellbeing of children. Until now children’s own experiences and perspectives have been largely absent from policy thinking and political discourse about food and poverty. The Inquiry will address this critical gap.

The Inquiry has built a national consensus on what needs to be done to prevent children’s food insecurity and to ensure their food is both nourishing and sets them up for a healthy and productive future.

The Children’s Future Food Inquiry is the first attempt to directly and systematically seek the views of children and young people living in poverty across the UK. It has spent 12 months investigating children’s food insecurity in each of the four UK nations, and the project’s final report pulls together direct input from hundreds of young people, the front line staff, academics and experts.

The #Right2Food Charter included in the report presents the Inquiry’s young ‘Food Ambassadors’ (aged between 10 and 18 years) own recommendations for loosening the grip of food poverty on children in the UK and improving their access to enough nutritious food.

In June 2017 the All Party Group on Children & Young People held an Evidence Session in Stormont to provide an opportunity for various organisations to give evidence around holiday hunger so the APG could gain a deeper understanding of the context of this problem as well as its impact on children’s development and to make recommendations for its prevention.

Children’s Right to Food
Children in Northern Ireland is part of a Parliamentary Inquiry into Children’s Future Food.  It has the support of a cross party group of 14 parliamentarians and two All Party Parliamentary Groups. It also has the support of the Children’s Commissioners in all four UK nations. This support reflects the growing concern across the UK of the impacts of poverty on the diets, health, development and wellbeing of children. Until now children’s own experiences and perspectives have been largely absent from policy thinking and political discourse about food and poverty. The Inquiry will address this critical gap.

The Inquiry has built a national consensus on what needs to be done to prevent children’s food insecurity and to ensure their food is both nourishing and sets them up for a healthy and productive future.

The Children’s Future Food Inquiry is the first attempt to directly and systematically seek the views of children and young people living in poverty across the UK. It has spent 12 months investigating children’s food insecurity in each of the four UK nations, and the project’s final report pulls together direct input from hundreds of young people, the front line staff, academics and experts.

The #Right2Food Charter included in the report presents the Inquiry’s young ‘Food Ambassadors’ (aged between 10 and 18 years) own recommendations for loosening the grip of food poverty on children in the UK and improving their access to enough nutritious food.

FURTHER READING

Holiday Hunger
Evidence Session

Ellen Finlay

Establishing Healthy
Attitudes to Food
From an Early Age

Caroline Bloomfield

Tackling Holiday
Hunger Through a
Multi-Agency

Maurice Leeson

Working Paper
Examine the Location of
Holiday Club Provision
in Northern Ireland

Northumbria University

Holiday Hunger,
Summer Learning Loss and
the Importance of
Summer Clubs

Prof. Greta Defeyter

Rural Poverty
Presentation

Ulster University

SUPPORTERS