Call for free school meals during half-term and summer in England
More than a thousand councillors across England have written to the government calling for free school meals (FSM) to be provided over the half-term and summer holidays. This comes after the Department for Education (DfE) confirmed they did not intend to extend funding during the future holiday period.
The national scheme, introduced by the government to supply parents with children eligible for FSM with a £15-per-week voucher since schools closed in March, was extended to Easter holidays at the last minute. Councillors now warn that these disadvantaged families face “holiday hunger” without this provision as the Covid-19 crisis continues.
The councillors’ ask echoes the many campaign groups, including the Food Foundation, who have been putting pressure on the government to extend the free meal provision over the holidays [link to the Sustain letter we published]. This would match the Welsh Government which has already committed to cover May half term and the six-week summer holiday.
Ordinarily FSM are only provided during term time, but the government made an exception last month because of the unprecedented levels of disruption and economic uncertainty facing schools and parents.
View our COVID-19 tracker in full.