Labour will today use an opposition day debate in Parliament to call on the Government to continue to directly fund provision of free school meals, including the free school meal voucher scheme for eligible children over the summer holidays to ensure a holiday without hunger.
We can't let 1.3 million children go hungry this summer.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) June 14, 2020
During the Covid-19 pandemic a voucher scheme to provide food support to children at home was established instead which, after pressure, was extended to cover the May half-term. However, the Government has confirmed that it will not continue the voucher scheme or fund free school meals over the summer holidays. Labour is calling for this decision to be reversed as part of the ‘Holidays without Hunger’ campaign launched on Sunday 14 June.
Harlow Labour Council Leader, Mark Ingall said:
“2,227 children in Harlow face the prospect of a long hungry summer.
“That’s why the government must say no to holiday hunger. Food insecurity has doubled in this pandemic, and we know that more than 200,000 children have skipped meals that their parents couldn’t afford to pay for, this is only going to get worse over the summer as the full economic impact of Covid-19 starts to bite. No child can learn while they are hungry.
“I know on this particular issue myself and Robert Halfon are in full agreement and I respect the work he has been doing on this.
“I support whole heartedly the Labour Party tabling a debate in Parliament on free school meal vouchers today and should there be a vote tabled on this issue, I am sure Robert Halfon will vote with us to ensure no child in Harlow goes hungry this summer”
Yesterday @halfon4harlowMP said free school meals over the summer holiday were “extremely important”.
Today he has the chance to vote & make that happen.
Will Halfon vote with Labour & stop Harlow's poorest children going hungry or will he vote with Boris & his Eton chums? pic.twitter.com/odEn4ce4vR
— Mark Ingall representing Bush Fair (@cllringall) June 16, 2020