All children at Islington Adventure Playgrounds were able to receive free lunches every day of the summer holidays in 2021. Children can’t flourish when they are hungry which is why IPA have been running food projects since we won the tender for the adventure playgrounds in 2013. We have been able to do this with the support of Islington Council (LBI) and The Mayor’s Fund for London’s Kitchen Social project.
Islington Council have always engaged with the issue of children’s holiday hunger. For the last 4 years they have provided lunches for children in the summer holidays, through their excellent Lunch Bunch project. Focusing on children’s hunger is more than a response to the pandemic for LBI, it is part of their every day agenda.
This year the government also committed to the idea of helping hungry children in the school holidays, by ring fencing money through their HAF project. This decision was directly influenced by the wonderful Marcus Rashford.
The government were persuaded to take action against holiday hunger by Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, who relied on free school meals as a child. In 2020 Marcus persisted in lobbying for hungry children, so that children are remembered and cared for during the school holidays. In doing this he has ensured that thousands of children across the nation have had access to healthy food throughout the holidays. His own story has also helped children children feel less stigma about their free lunches.
This summer at IPA playgrounds children have enjoyed growing and harvesting vegetables, cooking on fires, preparing meals and eating healthy packed lunches provided by Lunch Bunch
Thank you Marcus, you are a Don for speaking truth to power, for standing up for children and for staying dignified and not giving up in the face of some very unpleasant political posturing.