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Feature Appeal

The BMJ appeal 2020-21: “Without good nutrition, children’s health outcomes worsen, as do their life chances”

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 15 December 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4758
  1. Jane Feinmann, journalist
  1. London, UK
  1. jane{at}

The BMJ’s appeal this year supports the Independent Food Aid Network, a charity that has helped independent food banks and other community meal providers throughout the covid-19 pandemic, writes Jane Feinmann

Food poverty didn’t start with covid-19, but the pandemic has exacerbated the problem—putting children’s health at risk and dramatically increasing demand for food banks, including those represented by the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN), the charity being supported by The BMJ’s appeal 2020-21.

Kirkcaldy, a town 11 miles north of Edinburgh where one in four children lives in food poverty, saw a 70% increase in the number of families attending the local food bank on a regular basis between May and June 2020. “It shows how close to the cliff so many families live from day to day,” says Joyce Leggate, chair of Kirkcaldy Food Bank, a member of IFAN. The Black Country Food Bank in the West Midlands has seen a similar rise in demand from families during the pandemic. “We see …

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