Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1009/27919
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) (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 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
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
10 years since the financial crash - the socialist answer to capitalist crisis
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
When working class women dominated football
The Socialist inbox
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