Council offers £25,000 to fund free school meals vouchers so no vulnerable child goes hungry this Christmas

A council has offered £25,000 to help fund the provision of free school meals vouchers with the aim of ensuring that none of Cambridgeshire’s vulnerable children go hungry this Christmas.

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have asked the Conservative-run Cambridgeshire County Council to make sure that none of the county’s vulnerable children go hungry this Christmas.

To show their support, Liberal Democrat-run South Cambridgeshire District Council has offered £25,000 to help fund the provision of free school meals vouchers.

Lucy Nethsingha, Leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group on Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The government is refusing to feed the most vulnerable children in our country, just as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is becoming more severe.

“The response to the fantastic campaign by Marcus Rashford to ensure no child goes hungry has shown the strength of feeling across the country.

“Along with Liberal Democrat colleagues, I am calling on the government to make food vouchers available during school holidays throughout the pandemic to all pupils eligible for free school meals.

MORE: Petition calls on council to provide free school meals during half term

“As we saw during the summer, this is one of the most effective measures that the government could take.

Most Read

“If the government won’t do the right thing by hungry children this Christmas, I urge Cambridgeshire County Council to step in now so that support is available.

“Other councils, including some run by Conservatives, are stepping up to help feed children. We need to see the efforts increased in Cambridgeshire.”

MORE: Where to go in Ely and East Cambs for help in feeding your child over half term

Bridget Smith, Liberal Democrat Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “This Christmas is going to be especially hard for so many of our residents due to Covid-19.

“At South Cambs, we are able to pledge £25,000 towards food vouchers for our most vulnerable children. This will ensure families do not have to make the harsh decision between a gift for their child and getting into serious debt being able to feed them or heat their homes.

“I have written to Cambridgeshire County Council to offer to help fund a free school meals voucher scheme for the children in our district.

“It is essential that we plan now to have the scheme in place well before the Christmas holidays. I look forward to discussing with Conservative councillors how we can work together to help the children of our area.

“Since the very start of the pandemic, Liberal Democrat campaigners have been working hard to support members of their communities who are struggling, by raising funds, organising food banks and cooking meals. We are continuing this through the autumn half term.”