Home News Government U-Turns On Free School Meals

Government U-Turns On Free School Meals

The Government has performed another U-turn, caving in to public pressure to support free school meals during the holidays.

The campaign for free school meals has been championed by Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford. This is the second time that Rashford has successfully convinced the Government to fund his cause, with the first time coming earlier this year.

There had been a vote in Parliament two weeks ago where the funding of free school meals had been voted down by MPs 322 to 261. The motion was proposed by the Labour Party.

“Boris Johnson Covid-19 23/03” by UK Prime Minister is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

But the Government has pledged over £400 million to provide families with money for food, bills and activities for children. The “winter grant scheme” will be run by councils, not by Westminster. Councils will receive extra funding from December until the end of March.

Rashford said after Manchester United’s game on Saturday: “Following the game today, I had a good conversation with the Prime Minister to better understand the proposed plan, and I very much welcome the steps that have been taken to combat child food poverty in the UK.”

He continued: “The intent the Government have shown today is nothing but positive and they should be recognised for that.

“The steps made today will improve the lives of near 1.7 million children in the UK over the next 12 months, and that can only be celebrated.

“File:Marcus Rashford 2018-06-28 1.jpg” by Кирилл Венедиктов is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

“I am fully committed to this cause, and I will fight for the rest of my life for it, because in my mind, no child should ever go hungry in the United Kingdom.”

MP for Mansfield Ben Bradley had been very vocal in condemning the move towards free school meals. He responded on Twitter to the Government’s new plan by writing: “Expanding holiday clubs and activities is a manifesto commitment from a year ago whilst the Council funding is about much more than meals. It’s wraparound support to help with other bills/costs & to ensure we help families most in need to support themselves in future #NotFSM.”

Mr Bradley also wrote: