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Dame Emma Thompson launches Right2Food podcast series

17 Dec 2020
Children’s Right2Food campaign ambassador and actress Dame Emma Thompson introduces a new series of podcasts that tell the stories of those on the frontline who will be trying to feed families facing food insecurity over the Christmas holidays.

Recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic, the podcasts offer a ‘unique and personal insight’ into the lives of people on the frontline. The Right2Food podcasts are available on Apple, Spotify and all major podcast platforms.

Thompson commented: “Families who were fighting to put food on the table before Covid-19 now find themselves in an impossible position: Lockdown has seen four million parents and children experience food insecurity and these podcasts tell the stories of those most in need of help and support. 

“They are a powerful reminder that this is happening in every community across the country and it is morally unacceptable that in the sixth richest economy in the world our children are going hungry”.

Thompson and young food ambassadors who experienced food insecurity help introduce each episode. Most recently the young food ambassadors joined forces with Marcus Rashford’s End Child Food Poverty Taskforce and will appear in a BBC documentary with him on December 21 2020.

Asha Cumbria, a young food ambassador, said: “It’s so important that people listen to these podcasts and hear the stories of people on the frontline and from families who are experiencing the huge increases in poverty and food insecurity we are seeing across the country due to Covid-19.

“I hope the Government listens to them, so they get a better idea of what it’s like to be living in poverty in the UK and how important it is that everyone, including young people, get better food in the future”.   

The Right2Food Podcast series includes episodes recorded in:

  • Margate: Food campaigner Sharon Goodyer shows us an example in Margate of how to change the food system and enable the poorest in the community to afford to cook and eat healthy food every day of the week.
  • Lambeth: Marcia and Stella of the Rastafari Movement UK have been delivering boxes of organic fruit and veg from members’ allotments throughout the pandemic to feed the vulnerable.
  • Brighton: When refugees and migrants were plunged into food insecurity at the start of the pandemic, losing zero hour contracts and part-time jobs. Brighton’s Minority Ethnic Community Partnership (BMECP) became much more than a food bank with its culturally appropriate foods and friendship.

The Government announced £170 million was given to local authorities in the emergency winter grants scheme to help feed vulnerable families over the Christmas period.

Anna Taylor, executive director of the Food Foundation, added: “Protecting our children should be a priority, but we’re leaving them behind in conversations about emergency support and they’re falling through the cracks as a result.

“Having enough nutritious food to eat is a basic right, and without it children’s mental and physical health suffers irreparably.  The government must act now to put money in the pockets of families who are struggling so that they can buy the food they need to be healthy at home.”

A YouGov poll, commissioned by the Food Foundation earlier this year, found 10% of parents or guardians reported that food insecurity has affected their children in a variety of ways over the last six months.