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Campaigners call on government to continue providing food provisions to children during the holidays

More than 20 charities, campaign groups and education unions have called on the Department for Education to continue to provide food holiday provisions for children affected by food insecurity and low or fluctuating household income. 

The joint letter to the Secretary of State Gavin Williamson and Schools Minister Vicky Ford refers to recent figures published by the Food Foundation showing 2 million children have experienced some level of food insecurity of hunger since the UK went into lockdown on March 23rdBefore the crisis, 1.3 million children in England were eligible for benefit-related free school meals.
The letter also points to the Welsh Government’s announcement to commit £33 million of funding to cover holiday provision throughout the summer holidays. In England, the government has so far only committed to a pilot scheme with funding of £9 million for a few selected areas. Organisations argue this does not go far enough and are calling for a national-level funding commitment until the end of August. The ask is for this to apply to all school-age children eligible for benefits-related free school meals, as well as those families currently applying for Universal Credit or other income support programmes, and all children with no recourse to public funds. 

 

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