Labour led Harlow Council are donating up to £10,000 to Harlow food bank in order to combat food poverty this half term and beyond, to give the government time to reconsider their approach and extend free school meals through the school holidays for as long as they need.
Cllr Chris Vince, portfolio holder for Community and Wellbeing said:
“I am delighted that Harlow District Council are able to provide this vital support to Harlow foodbank so that no children in our town go hungry this half term. This is a difficult time for man parents in Harlow and being about to feed their children is one worry they could do without. As a local authority we want to do what we can to support Harlow’s children which is why we are donating some of the money which would have gone towards the fireworks night to do this.”
Cllr Mark Ingall, leader of Harlow Council added:
“This is the right thing to do. No children should go hungry in the school holidays or at any other time for that matter. We are sad the fireworks won’t go ahead but we are confident residents will support how we have chosen to spend the money saved.”
Cllr Frances Mason, portfolio holder for Governance, Equality and Diversity said:
“Throughout this pandemic myself and many others have campaigned for #FreeSchoolMeals for children. Marcus Rashford MBE successfully sealed this for the summer holidays. For those children and staff attending Passmores Academy they now have the benefit of seeing the murial by MurWalls of the Manchester United Footballer as a reminder every day, we need to continue his campaign as a role model for all children. It is likely to be a very bleak Christmas for children and families who have struggled financially since this pandemic and risk future uncertainty, however we need to ensure #FreeSchoolMeals are a ‘given’ during this pandemic.”
Cllr Shannon Jezzard, Mental health champion said:
“After the vote in parliament last week – I am glad to see Harlow Councillors rally around children in Harlow by donating money to the local Foodbank to help families in need. Foodbank usage has massively increased in the past 10 years, so it’s vital that we continue to push against austerity policies and endeavour to support those who need it.”
If you are a family who would have had free school meals in the term time but now need support during the holidays, you can call (01279) 724515 or text (07999) 866952 or direct message Harlow food bank on their Facebook page.