MP in line for award over holiday hunger campaign

Sharon Hodgson.
Sharon Hodgson.

Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson has been shortlisted for an award for her work in ensuring children do not go hungry during school holidays.

The Labour politician is in the running for the 4 Diplomat Initiative Award, which recognises outstanding work from those representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall.

As chairwoman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for School Food, Ms Hodgson made it the group’s priority during this Parliament to address holiday hunger, particularly among children from poorer families, and set up a “Holiday Hunger Task Group”.

The group tackles the issue of school holidays being a difficult time for low-income families, whose children usually receive free school meals or support from breakfast clubs.

Food banks are in more demand in holidays and six out of 10 parents with household incomes of less than £25,000 are less able to afford food outside of term. Ms Hodgson was shortlisted from more than 100 politicians.

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, executive director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “All too often, we hear stories of our governments not representing our needs, but Grassroot Diplomat looks upon selfless individuals in a position of power, who work tirelessly for their communities.

“The award seeks to create a culture of positive role models within our governments which encourages others like them to follow suit.

“Winners go beyond their job descriptions and those shortlisted for the award should be proud to be recognised this far.”