Free School Meals: Summer Holidays

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:36 pm on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Labour, Garston and Halewood 4:36 pm, 16th June 2020

I am very glad that the Government have reversed their decision not to continue to fund free school meals through the long summer holiday, despite the amendment on the Order Paper, which I am glad they are not moving—we would not have thought that it was even there, listening to some of the interventions from Government Members. That was the least that they could do.

I would like to thank and congratulate Marcus Rashford, the talented young footballer who has spoken so powerfully from his own experience and who has repeatedly put his money where his mouth is, supporting FareShare financially during the covid crisis and writing to all Members of the House to urge them to support reinstating free school meals over the summer. He has just won his first political campaign.

I know how much football fans in my city of Liverpool —through the efforts of Fans Supporting Foodbanks, led, inter alia, by my hon. Friend Ian Byrne—have done to support those facing hunger. They have been at the forefront of efforts to alleviate the spiralling increase in hunger and food poverty caused by austerity and the covid crisis. They have been supported financially by players during the covid crisis too, to ensure that they can continue to do their work and be the bulwark against hunger that they are.