Singer Zayn Malik penned an open letter to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, urging him to “give all children living in poverty” a free school meal.
The former One Direction star opened up about his past, writing that he often relied on free school lunches when he was a child.
“These children are suffering from lack of concentration, some even resorting to stealing food from school canteens because they are so hungry but can’t afford to buy lunch,” Malik wrote. “They are also feeling shame which is directly impacting their physical and mental health.”
The musician cited his own childhood experience in the letter.
“I know what that shame feels like, I have seen it first-hand, as growing up in Bradford, I relied on free school meals,” he continued.
“I personally experienced the stigma surrounding food insecurity. My hope is that in writing this letter we can all ensure that no child ever has to experience this hunger and stigma again as my experience is not unique; it is a struggle that many children in England are sadly going through right now.”
An estimated 800,000 children in England are living in poverty, according to a press release.
In the letter, Malik pleaded for the British government to commit in their budget on Nov. 17 to give all children living in poverty a free school meal.