By KLTV Newsdesk
Following the Government’s refusal to provide funds for free school meals during school holidays, Kirklees Council has confirmed it will.
This decision means more than 14,000 children in Kirklees will not have to go hungry during the holidays.
Although it’s not been possible to get the usual Free School Meal vouchers ready for the start of half-term on 26 October 2020, the money usually received through the scheme will be paid to eligible families retrospectively.
There is also immediate food support and help available for families who need it during the upcoming half-term. They just need to contact the Hardship Fund by calling 08004561114.
The voucher system will then be in place as normal for future school holidays for children who normally receive them during school time.
Councillor Carole Pattison, Cabinet Member for Children at Kirklees Council, said: “This means more than 14,000 children will not go hungry in Kirklees.
“It’s one of the easiest decisions we have had to make. We’re committed to giving children the best start in life and nutrition is vital to this.
“I’m deeply disappointed in the Government for failing to provide meals to hungry children during the holidays.
“Hunger does not end when schools break up. We will not sit by as children go hungry in Kirklees.
“We will never forget or ignore the struggles people are going through right now and if the Government won’t provide the funds to feed hungry children during holidays, we will.
“I’d like to thank Marcus Rashford for the outstanding work he’s doing in being a voice for those that desperately need support.”
The House of Commons recently voted against a call from the Labour Party to make free meals available to school children across England for the next six months during annual holidays.
Kirklees Council is among a growing number of local bodies promising to provide free meals for children of families that are facing hardships.