Whilst the Government is aware this pandemic is having far reaching effects and has extended Furlough until October 2020, it is concerning that Free School Meal Vouchers (FSM) will stop during the summer holidays.
You do know that kids don't suddenly stop being hungry just because it's the summer holidays, don't you @BorisJohnson? https://t.co/NvvCHqa0zV
— 🌈 Angela Rayner 🌈 (@AngelaRayner) June 4, 2020
Supporting Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner, Cllr Frances Mason is very concerned. She said:
“To put this in context, in Harlow, all Key Stage 1 children, 2509 Key Stage 2 children, plus those eligible for FSM in secondary schools and college may go hungry this summer
“Whilst the Government has indicated local areas will be able to bid for summer holiday activities and meal clubs this, in effect, is a Children’s Lottery for free school meals this summer.
“Across Harlow families from all economic backgrounds are facing job uncertainty, lower incomes and concerns around mounting debt”.
Council Leader Mark Ingall called on Robert Halfon MP, some weeks ago, for cross party support for free school meals to be continued for both the half term holiday and the rapidly approaching summer holiday. He said:
“I was pleased to note Mr Halfon’s support then for free school meals to continue through the half term holiday and I am pleased that he has now joined with Labour’s call for them to be extended into the summer holiday too. In the fifth richest economy in the world, even in these difficult times, children should not be going hungry.”
Councillor Stefan Mullard also acknowledged Mr Halfon for listening to Harlow Labour’s calls:
Really pleased that @halfon4harlowMP has joined @HarlowLabour call for keeping the free school meals available over the summer holiday. Glad he has listened to our open letter we sent two weeks ago!
— Cllr Stefan Mullard (@stuffand) June 5, 2020