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Free school meals vote 'does nothing to help hungry children'

LONDON, October 22 - In response to the Government voting against extending free school meals to the holidays, Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact at Save the Children, said:

"Yesterday’s vote on free school meals was incredibly disappointing and does nothing to help hungry children. Throughout the country, parents who are already struggling will continue to skip meals in order to put their children first. 

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

"At Save the Children we support thousands of children and their families with practical help. They tell us they are doing their best, but having to deal with higher bills or losing their jobs. Sadly, it will only get tougher this winter. As the impact of the pandemic continues to bite, we urgently need to see a winter plan that will stop millions of families from being pulled under."

Notes to editors:

As part of a winter plan for children Save the Children is calling on Government to: 

  1. Reassure families that the £20 uplift to Universal Credit will remain;
  2. Implement the National Food Strategy Recommendations to help children grow up healthy - including extending free school meals to the holidays
  3. Pay childcare costs upfront to prevent families being pushed into debt;
  4. Provide a £10 a week minimum boost to protect children from the financial pressures caused by the pandemic.