Tuesday 16 June 2020 / 12:01 AM Education / Rebecca Long Bailey

Labour calls on the government to fund free school meals over the summer holidays – Rebecca Long Bailey

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.

Nearly 1.3 million children in England are eligible for free school meals. 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 14th June.

Speaking in the opposition day debate, Rebecca Long Bailey MP, Shadow Education Secretary will say:

“Any government that is willing to let the poorest children in the country go hungry needs to take a long hard look at its priorities.

…Shamefully, children go hungry every year, but this summer will be especially difficult for many families as job losses and reduced incomes hit household budgets…

..It would be deeply callous of the government not to take this small step to ease the financial pressure on households and ensure children can eat during the summer holidays.’’