Last month, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson made a very hasty U-turn over free school meals after a passionate campaign that was led by footballer, Marcus Rashford.
The Prime Minister then announced that a brand new Covid Summer Food Fund will be launched to pay for lunches for all 1.3 million children on free meals in term for the whole of the summer holidays.
The Children First Alliance welcomed the news but want to see this go much further. The Alliance is now calling for a permanent arrangement so that no child goes hungry when schools are closed. Using the hashtag #schoolmeals365, a letter writing campaign is underway.
The team at Children First Alliance are working with the UK Youth Parliament and are now encouraging young people to contact Tory Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee, who is actively engaging with this issue and would possibly support a permanent solution.
Speaking to NMT, Baroness Frances D’Souza, president of the Children First Alliance said:
‘It’s wonderful that government have seen sense and extended the school meals voucher system over the summer but we know that many families will be on a reduced income for some time to come. The government should recognise this and confirm free school meal provision will be extended to cover all holidays at least until the economic impact of Covid-19 is over’
Outline for sending a letter:
- Write by hand a letter to Robert Halfon MP. It can be small, with pictures, a full page or more, it can be personal – showing a story about how having free school meals has helped you, a friend, your family. It can be signed by multiple people.
- You can write multiple letters. Send one to your own MP. Send to all or just a few members of the education select committee and Robert Halfon. Send one to the PM or any other significant person in parliament/the government.
- Use the hashtag #schoolmeals365
- Robert Halfon MP’s postal address for the letter is – House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
- The Members of the Education Select Committee have the same address. Each member can be found at https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/203/education-committee/membership/
- Your MP’s address can be found at https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP
- Remember to post up online with hashtag #schoolmeals365 and you can add our Children First Alliance @Ch1stAlliance. Place up on all social media platforms. You might want to add significant other people such as Robert Halfon MP – @halfon4harlowMP or celebrity’s such as Marcus Rashford – @MarcusRashford in your online posts.
- Put your letter in an envelope, or put lots of peoples’ letters into one envelope to save postage and then place a stamp on, or take to post office and post!
- Get as many friends and adults to do the same.