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MP joins cross-party campaign for Government to continue Free School Meals over the summer

June 10, 2020 3:42 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has signed a cross-party letter to the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, calling for Free School Meals to be extended over the summer.

The Government has decided to discontinue the scheme from July 24th and instead are introducing a much smaller programme of holiday activities and food for 50,000 children from low-income families - equating to just 4% of the number of children that are eligible for Free School Meals in England.

In the letter to the Secretary of State, the MPs urge the Government to either continue the Free School Meal voucher scheme or to extend the Department for Education's Holiday Activities and Food programme across the whole country throughout the summer period, "to guarantee every child's access to nutritious meals during the holidays".

Research by the Food Foundation has found that over 200,000 children have had to skip meals because their family couldn't access sufficient food during lockdown.

Tim said: "The devastating economic effects of the pandemic means that sadly lots more families are struggling to make ends meet here in the South Lakes and across the country.

"The Government is failing so many families who simply can't afford to provide three meals a deal for their kids.

"Allowing hundreds of thousands of children to go hungry this summer is cruel and heartless - the Government must change their mind."