Following Marcus Rashford’s much publicised campaign for children living in food poverty, Boris Johnson today surprised colleagues by U-turning and agreed to give disadvantaged children free school meals over the summer. This will be particularly welcome across the Fylde Coast, which is well above the national average number of families claiming this benefit (see map above).
The Prime Minister announced that around 1.3 million children currently eligible for free lunches in England will get vouchers worth £15 a week that can be spent in supermarkets.
Boris Johnson said the £120 million Covid Summer Food Fund was ‘one-off” in recognition of the struggles families are currently facing. A spokesperson announced, ‘The Prime Minister fully appreciates the problems facing families across the UK during this difficult times.’
Labour leader Keir Starmer replied, ‘This is another welcome u-turn from Boris Johnson. The thought of 1.3 million children going hungry this summer was unimaginable. Well done to @MarcusRashford and many others who spoke out so powerfully about this issue.’
Marcus Rashford hailed the news this afternoon, tweeting: ‘I don’t even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.’