The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to extend access to Free School Meals to all children whose families are on universal credit, and guarantee food vouchers to those children when schools are closed for holidays or during periods of lockdown.
Coronavirus has shone a new spotlight on the issue of child hunger – but this is not a new issue
The coronavirus crisis has shone a new spotlight on the issue of child hunger, with demand for food banks soaring and almost a fifth of households with children unable to access enough food in the first weeks of lockdown.
However this is not a new issue – and sadly, it will not go away once we’ve beaten the virus.
Every year many parents feel a real dread as the school holidays approach, at the idea of having to find an extra £30-40 per week to buy meals for their children which are usually provided at school. Now the same parents are worried that access to free school meals will be put at risk if schools have to close for further lockdowns.
Many children living in poverty also miss out on free school meals altogether, because the earnings threshold for eligibility is set too low.
We are calling on the Government to take the following steps to help stop child hunger for good, in the Comprehensive Spending Review this autumn:
Extend eligibility for free school meals to every pupil in primary and secondary school, whose parents or guardians are in receipt of Universal Credit
Food vouchers for every one of those pupils in every school holiday
Food vouchers for every one of those pupils during any period of lockdown
Please join us in calling on the Government to stop child hunger.