Poverty is a wide ranging term. Encompassing issues such as digital poverty, exacerbated by intermittent lockdowns, to food poverty. Immiseration. Starvation. Deprivation. These are some of the most pressing issues related to poverty; and it’s evident that the poorest have bore the brunt of the pandemic’s effects.
On 15 July 2020 Marcus Rashford wrote an open letter to all MPs, urging the government to reverse the decision not to provide free school meals during the holidays. At the time, about 1.3 million children from low-income backgrounds were eligible for free school meals in England, and the government had given support during the first lockdown in April. Having launched such a moving campaign (Mr Rashford drew upon his own personal experiences depending on free school meals) the hearts and respect of the nation went to the 22-year-old forward.
Two months later, Mr Rashford launched a petition with the aim of ending child hunger. Having gained significant traction and over a million signatures, the successful footballer galvanized the campaign. Fuelled by the spirit and passion of Marcus Rashford, Azed Bhatti and myself decided to get involved with these efforts and have since become Youth Ambassadors at the charity People Against Poverty.
Similar campaigns have been launched to strengthen the local response to child food poverty – a great example being KES’s very own foodbank, started by a group of Divisions, and a campaign by Unicef as the first emergency response to tackle food poverty.
Therefore, we believe that this theme is timely as well as incredibly significant to address in our social justice campaign as part of Amnesty International. Join us in the Amnesty International Society as we will look to lobby our government to commit to further action in alleviating food poverty.