Thanks to the campaign led by footballer Marcus Rashford, the Government agreed to provide a ‘Covid Summer Food Fund’ – meaning children who are usually eligible for benefits-related free school meals could claim vouchers to cover the six-week summer holiday period. But this is not a new problem. Every year, vulnerable families worry about the approaching summer break, when they will need to find an extra £30-£40 per week to buy the meals usually provided at school. It is an absolute travesty for children to go hungry, on any day of the year. The absence of any support equivalent to free school meals in the holidays is a long-overlooked anomaly, and now families face the threat of future lockdowns too. However, too many pupils living in poverty also miss out on a free school meal because the earnings threshold is set too low. We also want the Government to permanently extend eligibility for free school meals to every child whose parents are in receipt of universal credit or have a low-income with no recourse to public funds. Liberal Democrats are calling for free school meals for every child in primary and secondary school whose family is receiving universal credit, or are low-income with no recourse to public funds, and meal vouchers for all of these pupils covering school holidays and lockdown.
To Join us in the fight for Free School Meals go to: https://www.libdems.org.uk/ending-child-hunger