The issue of Free School Meal provision over the summer months was part of a high-profile campaign which I strongly supported.
While schools do not usually provide free school meals during the summer months, there are exceptional times, and the solution proposed by Marcus Rashford seemed effective and heartfelt. On Tuesday morning I was able to speak to my Government Whip about my concerns, and I outlined my position that it is incumbent on the Government, now more than ever, to support these simple yet effective solutions which support the most vulnerable children in our society. I am glad that the Government has listened, and the contribution I made in the Commons Chamber during the debate yesterday reflected this, which you can watch here.
It is so essential that our children receive good meals, and I strongly support the Government’s decision to provide this over the summer. While children and young people may be less vulnerable to the symptoms of Coronavirus, they are no less susceptible to the unintended effects of the pandemic, including a reduction in the income of many families. While the Government has protected workers through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it is equally important that we provide all support possible to our children, and I am pleased we will be providing Free School Meals to vulnerable children throughout the summer holidays.