Emma Thompson launches new Right2Food podcast series


Dame Emma Thompson, the Children’s Right2Food Campaign Ambassador, introduces a new series of podcasts in the Right2Food Campaign 

The podcasts tell the stories of those on the frontline who will be trying to feed the millions of families and children facing food insecurity over the Christmas holidays. 

The podcast series is presented by the Children’s Right2Food Young Food Ambassadors who all have lived experience of food insecurity and who will be appearing in the Marcus Rashford Documentary on 21st December at 9pm

 Independent Food Banks report a 62% increase in emergency food parcel distribution comparing October 2020 with the same month last year (IFAN, Dec 2020)

 32% of households with children in the UK report a loss of income due to the pandemic (Food Foundation)

 1.9 million children have had less nutritious sustenance; eating low-cost, unbalanced meals because their parents have run out of food  (Food Foundation)

A new series of the Children’s Right2Food podcasts is being released this week from the Food Foundation. Recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic, they offer a unique and personal insight into the lives of the people on the frontline feeding the most vulnerable families experiencing food insecurity across the UK. 

The episodes have been recorded all around the UK and are introduced by Dame Emma Thompson and the Children’s Right2Food  Young Food Ambassadors.   The young people aged between 12–20 years old have all experienced food insecurity and have been campaigning for the past 2 years. Most recently they joined forces with Marcus Rashford’s End Child Food Poverty Taskforce and will appear in a BBC documentary with him on December 21st 2020.    

Dame Emma Thompson joined the Children’s Right2Food Campaign in 2019 and together with the Young Food Ambassadors delivered the Right2Food Charter to 10 Downing Street to call for the establishment of a new, independent Children’s Food Commission to monitor and improve children’s food.

The podcasts were recorded all around the UK during 2020 and produced by award-winning podcast producer Gilly Smith.  In the latest episodes, we hear about the huge rise in the number of families and vulnerable children turning to food banks and charities to afford basic food supplies.  We hear directly from workers and volunteers at the frontline of emergency food banks about the challenges and harsh reality of distributing emergency food aid.  

Young Food Ambassadors Jani and Rabiya recording the Right2Food podcast:


The Right2Food Podcast series includes episodes recorded in:

Margate: Food campaigner, Sharon Goodyer, shows us an example in Margate of how to radically change the food system and enable the poorest in the community to afford to cook and eat healthy, delicious food every day of the week.

Lambeth: Marcia and Stella of the Rastafari Movement UK have galvanised their community in South London, 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 recently announced £170 million was to be given to Local Authorities in the emergency winter grants scheme as the country prepares for one of the most challenging Christmas periods ever with millions struggling to feed their families (gov.uk).   

A YouGov poll, commissioned by the Food Foundation earlier this year, found that 10% of parents/guardians, affecting an estimated 1.9million children, reported that food insecurity had affected their children in a variety of ways in the last 6 months forcing them to  rely on only a few kinds of low cost food to feed their children (6%) and provide unbalanced meals (5%), and to resort to smaller portions (1%) or skipping meals entirely (2%) (Food Foundation).

Dame Emma Thompson, Children’s Right2Food Campaign Ambassador, said:

“Families who were fighting to put food on the table before Covid-19 now find themselves in an impossible position: Lockdown has seen 4 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”.

Anna Taylor, Executive Director of the Food Foundation, said:

“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.”

Asha, Cumbria, 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”.   

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