During the height of the pandemic, campaigners including Marcus Rashford forced Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak into a u-turn on providing food vouchers over school holidays to children eligible for Free School Meals.
But the Government has quietly withdrawn direct funding for holiday food vouchers, leading to the scheme being axed in some parts of the country.
Instead, already overstretched councils are being asked by the Government to fund the vouchers using the Household Support Fund. But the Government's own guidance says that the fund "should primarily be used to support energy bills", and many councils don't have enough left over to pay for holiday food vouchers. At least 11 councils have been forced to axe holiday food vouchers, and a further 32 have reduced their value.
Rishi Sunak’s government is leaving local councils with an impossible choice – fund food vouchers for children or help the most vulnerable in our communities such as the elderly and the disabled with their soaring energy bills.
Call on the Government now to keep their promise to end holiday hunger, end this scandalous postcode lottery and directly fund vouchers for children eligible for Free School Meals over the holidays so that no child goes hungry over the Christmas break.
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Promoted by Joe Fortune on behalf of the Co-operative Party, both at Unit 13, 83 Crampton Street, London, SE17 3BQ, United Kingdom.Co-operative Party Limited is a registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. Registered no. 30027R