Valerie Vaz MP supports Holidays Without Hunger Campaign

The campaign successfully forced a Government U-turn on free school meals this summer to ensure a ‘holiday without hunger’

Rt Hon Valerie Vaz MP said:

“I am delighted that the Government have been forced into yet another U-turn by this campaign on our Opposition Day Debate. The Government U-turned just hours before this debate began and will now continue funding Free School Meal provision throughout the summer holidays.”

“In Walsall South, 4,350 children were at risk of going hungry if the government did not offer support for the provision of free school meals. Children were at a heightened risk of going without enough food this summer as the Covid-19 crisis hits family incomes and charities and food banks struggle to provide the same level of holiday support.

Funding free school meals throughout the summer holidays is a simple and effective solution to this. The Welsh Labour Government have already guaranteed each eligible child the equivalent of £19.50 a week up until the end of August to cover their meals over the summer holidays.”

“Marcus Rashford’s letter to all MPs was inspirational and added to the pressure on the Government. Before the pandemic, more than 4 million children in the UK were living in poverty— nine in every class of 30— and that number is expected to rise to 5.2 million by 2022. Child poverty is a pandemic of its own in this country and one that has unfortunately got far worse over the last few years.”

“The Government must now ensue this money will be used for the direct provision of free school meals to all eligible children.”