• Murhaf Radi, Europe Editor

Unicef has provided grants to feed hungry UK children for first time in 70 year history

The charity said the pandemic had brought on the biggest food crisis for children since WWII

 (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
PICTURED: Children at Greenacres Primary Academy in Oldham, northern England

(Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

UNICEF HAS pledged over £700,000 in emergency funding to feed hungry children in the UK, for the first time in their 70 year history.

Speaking on LBC’s breakfast show, Anna Kettley, Director of Programmes at Unicef UK, said: “We know that the coronavirus pandemic is the most urgent crisis affecting children since the Second World War and it is ending children’s lives everywhere, including right here at home.”

She added that “some families are having to make some really difficult decisions right now between heating and eating.”

A £25,000 grant will be given to the School Food Matters charity in the London borough of Southwark.

The money will be used to supply over 20,000 breakfast boxes to children during the holidays, including an additional 6,750 breakfasts that will be distributed over February half term next year.

The charity tweeted that funding from Unicef would be “a small lifeline during a difficult period for many.”

Every 34 seconds, a child needed help from a food bank

The charity is just one of the many that will be helped by the UNICEF funding. The organisation’s chief Anna Kettley says the money will help “over 30 communities up and down the country.”

The #EndChildFoodPoverty campaign led by footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford MBE highlighted the struggle many UK households are facing in order to feed their families.

Findings from recent research found that half of the children entitled to free school meals did not have access to the scheme during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK.

The Trussell Trust has released figures showing that food banks within their networks have provided a “record” 2,600 food parcels a day to children since the start of the pandemic.

They claim that “a child needed support from a food bank every 34 seconds between April and September.”