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No child should go hungry in the holidays

We are saddened that last night’s decision not to extend the free school meals programme in England during the October half term means that children will go hungry next week, and many mums and dads will have to skip meals themselves to put children first.  Becka, one of the mums we work with, explains the impact of the decision.  

"I've gone without so that my daughter can have food," she explained. "We rely so much on the school meals that the kids get at school - I know a number of parents who will say that's the only good meal they get.  Sometimes it's really sad to go out shopping when you can't just get good nutritious food.

"I want to give my daughter the best quality stuff and I have a choice, I can get a very small quantity of something nutritious. Or I can get a larger amount of s**t quality food. It's a really difficult choice to make.  Life is already stressful when you're poor and a single mother, I'm not frivolous with money."

Becka added: "Recently my daughter just suddenly grew, I had to buy her new clothes, new underwear. And I thought 'right, we've spent £30 there so she has knickers. What have we got to give up this month?'. I am juggling for essentials. That's the reality."

But there is hope for the future...

This shouldn't be a party political issue and there will be many who voted with the government tonight but who want to see this sorted out.

The Scottish and Welsh governments have already expanded free school meals during the school holidays.

We support thousands of children and their families with practical help. They tell us that they are doing their best, but having to deal with higher bills, losing their jobs. It is a tough autumn and a tough winter and more help is needed. 

As @MarcusRashford has said, we need a long term, sustainable solution to child food poverty.

If you are angry or upset by the parliamentary vote, have a look at Save the Children's Winter Plan for Children. It includes practical solutions for government action to make sure no child has to go hungry this winter, provide extra money to help families in these tough times, and reassure families that vital support won’t be taken away next year.

Now's the time to work together and demand a winter plan for children - please, sign up to take action 

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