New Labour analysis estimates that over half a million children became eligible for free school meals during the first year of the pandemic, including over 85,000 in the North West, as the Party calls on the Government to extend free school meals over the May half-term and summer holidays.
Government data shows that from March to October 2020 over 11,000 children became eligible for free school meals each week as the Conservatives failed to support all families through the first phase of the pandemic.
During this time, the Conservatives voted against feeding children during the October half-term and set out guidance which allowed the provision of miserly food parcels, in line with those shared online in January.
Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“The Conservatives have failed to support families in the North West throughout this pandemic and are now reliant on local councils to plug gaps in free school meals support throughout the holidays.
“Feeding children is not a half-time activity. Labour is calling on the Conservatives to trust parents with the money for free school meals so they can buy the food and supplies their children need throughout the whole of the holidays.”
Read Labour’s full press release here.