Struggling families on free school meals say help available over half-term is a “drop in the ocean” as inflation hits a 40-year high. Many low-income families will receive vouchers during the October break, but parents and unions say that at £15 per child it isn’t enough to match soaring food prices.
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And due to a postcode lottery, others will either get less help or none at all.
“Frankly, £3 a day for a hot meal is not going to stretch very far, particularly in light of rising food prices,” James Bowen from the NAHT education union said.
The government has defended its support for families on free school meals, saying it is providing an extra £170 million to local councils to help with the costs of delivering holiday clubs and activities.
But many parents say this is not enough and are calling on the government to do more to help struggling families.
“The government need to realise that there are many families out there who are just about managing, and this help is a drop in the ocean compared to what we need,” one mother said.
Another added: “I think it’s disgraceful that they expect us to survive on such a low amount of money. It’s not even enough to buy a week’s worth of food for my family, let alone pay for other things like utility bills and travel costs.”
The government has said it is working hard to help families on low incomes, but critics say more needs to be done to address the issue of holiday hunger.
In addition to the £15 per child voucher, families on free school meals will also be able to access free holiday clubs and activities. But many say this is not enough, and more must be done to help struggling families.
What do you think? Should the government be doing more to help families with free school meals? Let us know in the comments.
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