Food poverty at record levels – a children’s book on food banks shows how normal it has become
THE CONVERSATION – “Wake up, mum. I’m hungry!” This is the opening line to the recently published children’s book, It’s a No-Money Day, by Kate Milner, a powerful exploration of food banks and life below the poverty line.
The UK should not be in a position that such a book needs to be written. But as recent statistics from the Trussell Trust, a charity working to stop UK hunger and poverty, have shown, food poverty is not going away. It’s increasingly generating child victims, whose only salvation comes from donations of emergency food provisions.
Food poverty, once just a focus of academic concern, is now knocking on the door of children’s literature. Yet the story told across this 25-page book is becoming an increasingly normal situation in the UK for many families. Indeed, Milner’s book significantly highlights the level of normalisation that has been reached with food poverty in the UK.
‘Mum goes hungry’
Milner’s book is not only an excellent resource to talk to children about poverty, but it’s also a good way to show how such experiences don’t happen in isolation. Recent data has shown that around 30% of children are living in poverty. But what this book also highlights is that treating the use of food banks as normal can be a double-edged sword.