Child hunger should be more than an embarrassment to this government

Editorial: Too many families are still falling through the cracks in the welfare system

<p>Marcus Rashford and his mother Melanie visit a food charity in Manchester</p>

Marcus Rashford and his mother Melanie visit a food charity in Manchester

Over the past decade, Conservative governments have moved on from denial to embarrassment when confronted with the evidence that children are going hungry in one of the richest countries in the world.  

The Cameron government talked a good game about how we were all “in it together” as it sought to balance the public finances after the financial crash. But when asked about the growth of food banks, ministers for a long time simply pretended that it was not happening. They eventually had to accept reality and some ministers even visited food banks, but they insisted that child hunger was more complicated than simply the product of their policy.  

Today, we have made progress in that the prime minister responds like a scalded cat to shortcomings in provision for needy children. Yesterday, we reported that some of the food boxes for children entitled to free school meals failed to meet the Department for Education’s specifications for quantity and quality. Marcus Rashford, the footballer who knew what it was like to go hungry as a child, and who has campaigned for provision for children while schools are closed, took up the issue.  

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