Jeff Smith has written to the Secretary of State for Education demanding he reverses his decision to withdraw funding for free school meals over the summer holidays, as part of Labour’s ‘Holiday without Hunger’ campaign.
3,288 children in Manchester Withington are at risk of going hungry this summer as the government withdraws support for the provision of free school meals. Many families are concerned about how they will afford food during the summer holidays, with the added pressure of the coronavirus crisis plunging families into deeper poverty and social distancing and other factors putting into question whether holiday lunch schemes will run.
There has already been widespread support for the campaign, including from Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford who has written to MPs to call for the extension of the scheme over the summer holidays.
Speaking about the campaign, Jeff said:
‘’Children are at a heightened risk of going hungry this summer as the Covid-19 crisis hits family incomes and charities, and as food banks struggle to provide the same level of holiday support.
There is a simple solution to this, and that is for the government to continue funding free school meals throughout the summer holidays. Their refusal to do so is a disappointing and heartless move.
That is why, as part of Labour’s ‘Holiday without Hunger’ campaign, I have written to the Secretary of State to ask him to reverse his decision.’’