The coronavirus crisis has shone a new spotlight on the issue of child hunger, with demand for food banks soaring and almost a fifth of households with children unable to access enough food in the first weeks of lockdown.
The Government has repeatedly overlooked the needs of children from low-income families.
However, throughout this pandemic, the Government has repeatedly overlooked the needs of children from low-income families.
It was only after public pressure and the high-profile campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford that the Government agreed to provide food vouchers in place of Free School Meals during the summer and forthcoming Christmas holidays.
At #PMQs @libdemdaisy pushes Boris Johnson to follow the lead of the Welsh Government & Kirsty Williams, Lib Dem Welsh Minister for Education, & provide free school meals during holidays to stop children going hungry.— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) October 21, 2020
Back the fight for free school meals⬇️https://t.co/3Tdxf3TrrI pic.twitter.com/umMKJ4kY5E
Child hunger will not go away when the coronavirus pandemic is over.
Unfortunately, this is just a sticking plaster solution that does not go nearly far enough.
In his Spending Review, Rishi Sunak had the opportunity to extend access to Free School Meals so no child living in poverty misses out. He didn’t.
Liberal Democrats are clear; we want to see the Government provide free school meals to every child living in poverty, all year round.
We are calling to:
- Extend eligibility for free school meals to every pupil in primary and secondary school, whose parents or guardians are in receipt of Universal Credit
- Food vouchers for every one of those pupils in every school holiday
- Food vouchers for every one of those pupils during any period of lockdown
Child hunger will not go away once we’ve beaten the virus and Liberal Democrats will continue fighting for the millions of families that need our support.
Fighting for free school meals
It is an absolute travesty for children to go hungry, on any day of the year. During school holidays, the government should fund free school meals for the poorest families. It's the right thing to do.
Back our campaign for free school meals.