Local Lib Dems Step in to Provide Free School Meals

8 Jul 2022
Lib Dem logo bird projected on blockwork

Lib Dem-run Sutton Council has stepped in to ensure local children do not go hungry this Summer.

The Conservative Government has once again failed to provide adequate funding for the popular initiative. However, the Liberal Democrats intervened to ensure that those who usually qualify for free school meals will still receive support throughout the whole six weeks of the summer break.

The measure was approved as part of a package of support for Sutton’s most vulnerable households and will provide £270,000 to cover the shortfall left by the Conservative Government.

Lib Dem Sutton Council committed itself in late 2020 to ensure that no child would go hungry by providing funding for meals over the October half term, when the government refused to do so. This summer, the Council has stepped up yet again.

Marcus Rashford raised awareness over the importance of free school meals during the holidays in his campaign in late 2020.  The government was widely criticised for its response and it was left to local councils to pick up the pieces.

Deputy Leader of Sutton Council and Chair of Sutton’s Housing, Economy and Business Committee David Bartolucci said:

“No child should go hungry in modern Britain. We’ve plugged the funding gap for this year, but with the cost of living crisis continuing and inflation rising, we need long-term funding from this Conservative government to finally ensure that no child goes hungry.

“The Lib Dems are standing up for every resident in Sutton and will continue to push for greater funding so that families know that next year they can continue to feed their children during the school holidays, which can often be a critical time for families on a tight budget.”

Schools will distribute vouchers to eligible pupils/families by 21 July which will be redeemable at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Aldi, Morrisons, and Iceland.

For distribution dates for the remainder of the school holidays until February 2023, please visit sutton.gov.uk/w/food-voucher-scheme

The Council is also continuing to help residents through the cost of living crisis by providing funding to the Sutton Foodbank and the Crisis Loan and Grant Scheme.

Along with the summer food vouchers, families who receive benefits-linked free school meals can also take advantage of a host of free activities and healthy and nutritional food during the summer holidays through the Council’s Holiday Activities and Food programme - visit www.sutton.gov.uk/HAF for more information.

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