Jenni Russell picks up that, in some parts of Birkenhead, one in five children arrives at school hungry every day (“Time for all schools to join the breakfast club”, Apr 13). In the past year the all-party group that set up Feeding Britain has actively pursued a strategy to counter the evil of child hunger. Feeding Britain has helped a dozen schools in Birkenhead to set up and maintain breakfast clubs for their pupils. Ms Russell is right that these children show improved levels of energy, behaviour and concentration. But hunger strikes many children once school holidays begin, and eradicating holiday hunger is beyond our voluntary efforts. The government could fulfil its responsibilities here by using a tranche of revenue from the soft drinks levy to fund a holiday meals programme. At present, our country’s failure to prevent holiday hunger wipes out the improvements in life chances that are delivered by breakfast clubs during term time.
Frank Field MP
Chairman, Feeding Britain