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Statement on Free School Meals - Ensure Access for All Eligible Children

October 27, 2020 9:00 AM
  • Barnet's Liberal Democrats call on Barnet Council to guarantee Free School Meals during October and December School holidays
  • A local guarantee must apply for any future periods of lockdown and school closure

Liberal Democrats in Barnet are today calling on Barnet Council to step in where the government has failed on child hunger.

We believe that Barnet must ensure that all children in our borough who are entitled to Free School Meals have guaranteed access to food vouchers or meal provision during the October and December school holidays, as well as during any periods of lock down and school closure.

The health and wellbeing of children in Barnet during Covid is a primary concern. No child in Barnet should ever go hungry.

Cllr Gabriel Rozenberg, leader of the Liberal Democrats Group on Barnet Council, said:

"We are incredibly disappointed to see that Barnet's Conservative MPs in Westminster voted against extending support to children who are at risk of going hungry over the Christmas holidays.

"The responsibility to meet their need now falls on local councils. We urge Barnet Council to step up and take action, as Liberal Democrat-run councils across London have already done."

Barnet Lib Dems welcome the steps taken by the Council to support the Young Barnet Foundation to launch the Space2Grow: School Holiday Food Fund Grant.

But the council needs to go further to ensure that full support reaches every eligible child, not just those already linked in to local services, and without the need for further applications or approvals.

Liberal Democrat-run councils are providing free school meals for hungry children as a way to protect their residents from the Government's actions.

Richmond and Kingston borough councils are setting up schemes to help families through half-term and Christmas holidays. Sutton council have confirmed they are also working on a scheme to support families and ensure no child goes hungry.

The Liberal Democrats are campaigning to support low income families with food vouchers throughout school holidays. To support our campaign, add your name to our petition: https://www.libdems.org.uk/meals