£15 a week free school meals scheme WON'T continue over summer holidays, Gov confirms
A £15 a week free school meal voucher scheme to help poorer kids won't continue over the summer holidays, the Government said today.
Ministers had made exceptions to the voucher scheme for the Easter break and half term due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
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It gave parents who usually got help with meals during the school time extra help with food costs.
They get vouchers to spend in their local supermarkets to feed their kids, when usually they would have been able to claim a meal at school.
But this won't carry on over the summer.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said today: “The voucher scheme will not run over the summer.
“A £9 million holiday activities and food programme will offer activities and meals to thousands of disadvantaged children during the summer break."
The holidays and food scheme follows similar programmes over the last two years.
It saw charities and community groups provide meals and activities such as football, play sessions and cooking classes for 50,000 children across the country.
But Labour MPs hit back at the news and begged the Government to reconsider.
Shadow minister for early years, Tulip Siddiq said: "Free school meals have been a lifeline for struggling families in this crisis.
"Withdrawing them over what is set to be a very difficult summer is a terrible decision."
And Carolyn Harris told the Daily Mirror: "The summer is the time when kids most need that help.
"Families can ill-afford to feed kids under normal times but this summer will be extremely hard."
All kids apart from those of key workers have been learning at home since the start of the outbreak.
But earlier this week millions of children in reception, year one and six returned to school for the first time since March.
The Government wants more kids to start going back before the summer holidays, but has made no specific plans yet.
In Scotland kids will go back from August.
Yesterday Wales announced all pupils will return to schools from June 29 – but they will only be able to have a third of all pupils in a time.
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