Responding to the news that the government has made a U-Turn and is going to continue the Free School Meal voucher scheme over the summer, Luke Pollard MP said:
“No child in Plymouth should be going hungry but we know a third of our city’s children live in poverty even before the virus. It should not have taken Marcus Rashford’s intervention for the Prime Minister to have supported the 1.3m children in England who would have lost their free school meals over the holiday. I welcome the U-turn but at a time of national crisis, supporting the poorest kids should not have taken a campaign by a Premiership footballer and MPs in Parliament.
“In Plymouth, the brilliant schools co-operative, Cater-Ed, has provided free school meals from parks for the past few years but we know more needs to be done. Food poverty is not an issue about there not being enough food. It is an issue of there being too much poverty.
“Though it is welcome that the government have made this U-Turn, it does not solve the problem of holiday hunger in the long term. I will continue to push the government to adopt a sustainable solution to this, so children in Plymouth have enough food on their plates all year round.”
If you’d like to know whether your child could be eligible for Free School Meals, please check the Plymouth City Council website here: https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals