Harlow families are behind Sugar Tax

Politics / Tue 26th Apr 2016 pm30 04:04pm

Sugar TaxFAMILIES in Harlow are “strongly behind” a report urging the government to use some of the money from the new sugar tax to extend free school meals for poor children into the school holidays.

Rising numbers of children do not get enough to eat, says the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger.
Thousands of children in England started school underweight last year, according to official figures highlighted by MPs.

The issue was brought up with 15 families in Harlow town centre who all agreed the issue of underweight children should be a “top priority” for the government.

Mother-of-three Gwen Saunders, 43, from Harlow, said: “I think it is vital that this issue is addressed and I think the sugar tax is the perfect way to help this.

“It is something my husband and I would be strongly behind if it were to happen.

“As a former teacher myself I am aware having taught at a primary school that it is common for some children to come in underweight.

“At a young age, their development can stifle and it’s just a dreadful thing to see as no child should ever have to go through that.”

The report also urges the government to make greater efforts to ensure poor families take up their entitlement to vouchers for free milk, fruit and vegetables.

In addition, Father-of-two, Tom Buckley, 33, said: “I don’t think there is any excuse in this day and age with what we know about nutrition to have children going so hungry at school.

“I understand finance is a problem but there should always be a meal available – that’s what I believe.”

The House of Commons Library analysis of the most recent data suggested that more than half a million under-fives were anaemic in 2011, the highest level in 20 years.

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