Geneva: Launching an emergency response, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will help feed children hit by the Covid-19 crisis in the United Kingdom for the first time in its 70-year history.
UNICEF is to award grants to 30 local organisations through its "Food Power for Generation COVID" initiative. One of these organisations is School Food Matters which will deliver 18,000 nutritious breakfasts to 25 schools in the south London district of Southwark. This will support 1,800 families, Euro News reported.
Since the lockdown began in March, the number of children struggle for food and for their basic livelihood.
"The coronavirus crisis is having an unprecedented impact on children's lives-- their support systems ripped apart, their education lost, their access to food impacted," Euro News quoted Anna Kettley, director of programmes at UNICEF UK as saying.
"Through these grants, we hope to reach the UK's most vulnerable children and their families and ensure they receive the vital food support they need to eat well. Our goal is to ensure that children survive the coronavirus crisis and thrive beyond it," she said.
According to UNICEF, 2.4 million British children already grow up in food-insecure households, and over a fifth of these households with children have gone hungry during the lockdown due to financial crisis.
"The response to our summer Breakfast Boxes programme has shown us that families are really struggling and many were facing the grim reality of a two-week winter break without access to free school meals and the indignity of having to rely on food banks to feed their children," Euro News quoted Stephanie Slater, founder and CEO of School Food Matters as saying.
She further said, "By providing our Breakfast Boxes, families know that their children will have a great start to the day with a healthy nutritious breakfast, adding that "We cannot continue to rely on civil society to fill the hunger gap as too many children will miss out on the nutrition they need to thrive."