1. ITV Report

Zero Hunger city

School children are among those going hungry, according to the new report Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Archive

The London Assembly is calling for more help to make the capital a "Zero Hunger" city.

A new report says thousands are still going hungry, despite London being one of the richest cities in the world.

The report says in 2009 the largest chain of food banks ran just six in London; today there are 40 serving food to 34,000 people including many who, despite working, are still not earning enough to cover food and bills.

The report says food banks risk being overwhelmed in the near future as the economic downturn persists and living costs rise.

Recommendations:

  • Working with partners to establish sustainable free breakfast clubs in schools
  • Lobbying the government to agree eligibility for free healthy school meals for all families in receipt of Universal Credit, with the London Food Board asked to identify models for providing universal healthy free school meals for all children across the capital
  • Monitoring risk factors for food poverty, including welfare reform
  • Ensuring any response to food poverty helps all groups, including older people
  • Food poverty action plans led by Borough Health and Wellbeing Boards and a link worker in all London boroughs
  • Schools having a plan to identify and address hunger throughout the school day and to support families in food poverty

“It is shocking to think that in one of therichest cities in the world, there are thousands of Londoners going hungry.

Food poverty is affecting people all across the city - young and old, people in low paid jobs and on benefits. This has alarming consequences because children who are hungry struggle to fulfil their potential, while elderly people can develop malnutrition.

It is unacceptable to have Londoners relying on food bank donations to feed their children or stay out of hospital. This is a significant problem that needs long-term commitment and solutions and the Mayor and his team need to act now to turn this problem around and stamp out hunger in London.”

– Fiona Twycross, London Assembly member