Council vows to tackle ‘summer hunger’

Many children and young people who rely on free school meals go hungry during the summer holidays.
Many children and young people who rely on free school meals go hungry during the summer holidays.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has backed a motion aimed at tackling ‘summer hunger’ in Northern Ireland.

It’s believed many children and young people from low-income households who avail of free school meals during school term time go hungry during the summer holiday period.

Councillor Billy Ashe MBE

Councillor Billy Ashe MBE

The motion, proposed by DUP Councillor Billy Ashe MBE, states that the council “will not tolerate summer hunger again” and resolves to work with other relevant bodies “to bring forth a solution before the school summer holidays of 2019.”

It’s understood the resolution, which was agreed unanimously, will be sent to Northern Ireland’s 10 other local councils.

Describing ‘summer hunger’ as “a most important issue for Northern Ireland”, Cllr Ashe said: “I am aware of the great work done on a voluntary basis by many and I thank them for their concerns for others. However, I believe it is for government to step forward and eradicate this problem once and for all.”