Holiday Hunger: Feeding Children During the School Holidays

Graham, Pamela L., Stretesky, Paul, Long, Michael, Mann, Emily and Defeyter, Margaret Anne (Greta) (2018) Holiday Hunger: Feeding Children During the School Holidays. In: Feeding Children Inside and Outside the Home: Critical Perspectives. Taylor & Francis, pp. 87-106. ISBN 9781138633865

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Research on childhood deprivation highlights the unfavourable impacts of household poverty on physical health, school achievement, cognitive ability, emotions and behaviours (Brooks-Gunn and Duncan 1997; Brooks-Gunn, Duncan and Aber 1997; Duncan, Yeung, Brooks-Gunn and Smith 1998). Importantly, within the childhood deprivation research, food is often mentioned as a critical link between poverty and wellbeing (Golley et al. 2010; Jaime and Lock 2009). In the United Kingdom (UK) policy makers have recognized that various social policies are needed to help children who are unable to access sufficient amounts of nutritious food (Caplan 2016). For instance, across the UK local education authorities (LEAs) deliver free school breakfast and lunch to children who reside in low-income households. Although efforts to feed children are pervasive, a significant number of children still face food shortages when schools are closed for breaks and holidays (Evans and Harper 2009, p. 91; for updates see Long et al. 2016). This problem is increasingly referred to as “holiday hunger” in the academic and popular press (Butler 2014; Children’s Society 2014; Graham et al. 2016). And, despite emerging concerns over holiday hunger there is still a dearth of knowledge about the issue.

This chapter begins with an overview of the social, educational and health related problems associated with food insecurity in children, highlighting a need for year-round preventative measures to reduce food insecurity amongst families. The development of UK holiday clubs is then discussed, reflecting on research to date that has examined the impacts of holiday club participation for children and families. The chapter concludes with directions for future research, emphasising the importance of accurate definition and measurement of holiday hunger.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
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Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2018 14:16
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 19:15

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