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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 September 2018

4m children in UK in homes that can't afford fruit and veg

10 an hour now

Reverse benefit cuts

Kids are going hungry, photo Leo Saumure Jr (Creative Commons)

Kids are going hungry, photo Leo Saumure Jr (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

James Ellis, school teacher, Leeds Socialist Party

Four million children in the UK live in households unable to afford enough fruit, vegetables, fish and other essential food groups to meet government nutrition guidelines, says the Food Foundation.

It is outrageous that a rich country in the 21st century leaves so many living in food poverty, consigning growing numbers of working class people to diet-related illnesses and poor quality of life. While the super-rich 1% continue to increase their wealth, millions of young people are going hungry.

As a teacher I have seen the impact of hunger and food poverty first-hand. For many the summer holiday means time to relax and spend time with friends and family. But for some young people and their families, the summer holiday means having to cope with hunger.

I have seen students struggling to focus in class because they haven't had a nutritious meal in days; fainting because they can't get breakfast at home.

School meals

School meals are sometimes their only reliable source of hot food. But many schools, especially privately run 'academies', now contract out their catering to private businesses - whose primary concern is profit, not providing a balanced and affordable diet.

The blame for this epidemic of food poverty lies with Tory and Blairite privatisation and austerity - and all the councils, including Labour councils, who have been passing on central government cuts.

To combat this it will be necessary to roll back austerity and reverse all benefit cuts, implement a minimum wage of at least 10 an hour now, and start a huge job creation programme. That could start to give everyone the means to afford a healthy diet.

There should also be free and nutritious school meals available to all school children.

To guarantee these reforms - and pay for them - it will be necessary to plan the economy democratically along socialist lines. That would have to include nationalising the big agricultural companies and supermarkets under democratic workers' control and management.

It is a disgrace that four million kids and their families are going hungry. There is enough wealth in society to provide plenty for all, but capitalism is unable to meet these basic needs. The socialist transformation of society is the only way to ensure that hunger becomes a thing of the past.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 12 September 2018:


What we think

Corbyn must lead in fight against the Blairites


News

Tories in chaos - general election now!

Enfield North Labour Party votes 'no confidence' in its MP

4m children in homes that can't afford fruit and veg

Fearful bosses call for 'fairer capitalism'...

School students in solitary: for full funding, not exclusion!

Them & Us


Financial crash

10 years since the financial crash - the socialist answer to capitalist crisis


Workplace

NSSN rally: militant trade unionists share ideas to win for workers

TUC congress Brexit debate: unions must lead fight for a general election

Guards move closer to beating driver-only operation on Merseyrail giving confidence to other strikes

Cardiff Uber Eats couriers strike back against bosses

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Nicaragua: With the people against the Ortega government and imperialism

Support for Putin's regime dips over major attacks on state pensions

Sweden: left and far right gain as establishment parties falter

Ireland housing occupations


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Catford campaign against regeneration

Students unite and fight - free education now!

Reading council plans privatisation - set a no-cuts budget instead!

EDL outnumbered and confronted in Worcester

Fight against billionaire Newcastle boss Mike Ashley continues


Opinion

When working class women dominated football

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Food:

triangleNews in brief

trianglePlastic waste ignored

trianglePrivate firm causes weeks of delay to free school meal vouchers: bring it back in-house!

trianglePPE shortages: "I feel so bloody angry"

triangleWakefield Socialist Party: Food supply and the coronavirus crisis

Children:

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triangleOver 30% of children living in poverty

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Cuts:

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School:

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triangleCumbria: Teachers, parents and socialists fight reckless school reopening

Poverty:

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Young people:

triangleBradford Socialist Party: The future for young people

Austerity:

triangleBoris's new big deal

Family:

triangleRed flags line road for Ken

Schools:

triangleTories put profit before lives

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