Zahawi ignoring school meal shortage crisis at his front door

Parliamentary news
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP has written to the Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi accusing him of ignoring the school meal shortage crisis after it had been revealed schools are being told to stock up on food.  ITV has reported that ISS, one of the UK’s largest canteen suppliers, has written to its school catering staff to advise them to stock up on food to ensure pupils can be fed through the winter months. It comes after months of warnings about the potential shortage crisis.  In a letter to Zahawi, Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Ed Davey MP said that parents have already “endured so much and worked so hard during the pandemic.” He added, “For far too many children this is their one hot meal of the day and for…
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Oldham Liberal Democrats back campaign to end Summer holiday hunger

Oldham Liberal Democrats back campaign to end Summer holiday hunger

Borough news
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Councillors have backed a call from the National Education Union to the government to end school summer holiday hunger. The councillors have co-signed a letter to the Prime Minister seeking the return of a special payment to poorer families of £15 per week for each child normally in receipt of means-tested free school meals. This is to provide families with extra food to compensate them for the loss of free school meals for that child during the summer holidays. Commenting, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE said: “Last year, the government finally listened to the many voices, including ours, calling for an end to kids going hungry over the summer and did the decent thing by introducing this payment whilst Britain was in the grip of the COVID pandemic.…
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Government must follow Wales and guarantee free schools meals over holidays

Government must follow Wales and guarantee free schools meals over holidays

Parliamentary news
Responding to the announcement that the Welsh Government has guaranteed free school meal provision for all school holidays up to and including Easter 2021, thanks to £11m confirmed today by Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said: “This decision by Liberal Democrat Kirsty Williams is wonderful news and will really ease the worries of thousands of parents in Wales as they look ahead to the uncertainty of the next six months. "It is essential that Conservative Ministers in Westminster follow the Liberal Democrats lead in Wales, and agree to extend free school meals to holidays in England. It would be simply unforgivable to let children go hungry this winter. "We know that giving school children a hot, healthy meal at lunchtime greatly improves their health,…
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Government must act now on National Food Strategy recommendations

Parliamentary news
Responding to the National Food Strategy review suggesting that free school meals should be extended to every household receiving Universal Credit, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:  “The Government must waste no time in acting on these recommendations. We know that giving school children a hot, healthy meal at lunchtime greatly improves their health, behaviour and results.  “The Liberal Democrats are proud to have introduced free school meals in government and have long been calling for them to be extended to more pupils. “We need to invest in giving every child the best start in life as we come out of this crisis."
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Children of parents who lose jobs over summer risk losing free school meals

Parliamentary news
Children of parents who lose their jobs over the coming weeks risk missing out on free school meals over the summer because of a loophole in the scheme, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran has warned. It comes following a wave of job losses this week, with John Lewis and Boots alone cutting 5,300 jobs. The current government guidelines say you must apply for a voucher for the Covid Summer Food Fund one week before school ends. For the majority of schools that close on 20 July, this means you must apply by Monday 13 July. Only children who qualify for school meals before the end of the term are eligible for support from the fund. Layla Moran has written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson warning the rule could mean…
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Governmentt must go beyond u-turn on free school meals to give every child best start

Parliamentary news
Responding to the Prime Minister’s u-turn on free school meals, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said: “Too many vulnerable children face falling through the cracks. I am grateful to Marcus Rashford and all those campaigners who have helped force the Prime Minister to rediscover his conscience, but it should never have been needed. "The Government must now work cross-party and with parents, teachers and local governments to do more. We must ensure no child is left behind. "That starts with Liberal Democrat proposals to combine the free school meals voucher scheme with an emergency uplift in child benefit and a ‘catch-up premium’ to ensure every child has the best start in life.”
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Government spending £120m on Festival for Brexit instead of free school meals over the summer

Parliamentary news
The Liberal Democrats have accused the Government of being "callous and heartless" for spending £120m on a Festival For Brexit, when the same amount of money could be spent on extending free school meals over the summer. Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson, Layla Moran, made the intervention ahead of an opposition debate today on calls to extend free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak. The Government recently confirmed that the Festival for Brexit will be going ahead in 2022, with £120 million of taxpayers' money earmarked for the event. This is the exact same amount it would cost to extend free school meals to all eligible pupils over the six-week summer holiday. Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said: “Leaving children hungry while ploughing millions into Brexit propaganda is callous and…
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