Almost £1.5 million for Cambridgeshire after Government climb-down on free school meals

Marcus Rashford has welcomed the u-turn on funding for free school meals.

Marcus Rashford has welcomed the u-turn on funding for free school meals. - Credit: Archant

‘No one should pretend that anyone ever voted to make children go hungry as it is simply untrue’ - Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly.

Funding of £1.46 million will be avaiable for vulnerable children and families in Cambridgeshire this winter.

Cambridgeshire County Council is to receive the cash package from the Government for food and supplies for vulnerable households.

The funding includes an extension of the school holiday programme of providing food and activities, which comes after pressure from footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford.

Rashford said it would improve the lives of almost 1.7 million children.


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“I am fully committed to this cause, and I will fight for the rest of my life for it, because in my mind, no child should ever go hungry in the United Kingdom,” the player said.

The move represents a climbdown for the Government, which had said Universal Credit was the best way to help.

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The Covid Winter Grant Scheme will see councils across England share £170 million in additional, ring-fenced funding to help vulnerable families and individuals.

A further £220 million will be invested in extending the Holiday and Food Programme until next Christmas, meaning that all children eligible for Free School Meals will have the option to join a holiday-time programme that provides healthy food and fun activities during the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays next year.

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly, said: “No child should ever go hungry, and the extra £1.46 million for Cambridgeshire County Council will ensure local families that need extra support with food and bills this winter can access it, in the same way that they have been able to since the start of the pandemic.

“Our local councils have been doing an excellent job at making sure that Government support reaches people in need, and this next stage of funding will enable them to continue doing that.

“Unlike other political parties who have focused on free school meals in isolation, we have taken a broad approach to support and protect families and have worked extensively with local councils to make sure that support is available where it is needed. No one should pretend that anyone ever voted to make children go hungry as it is simply untrue.

“To support people during this challenging time, the Government has invested more than £200 billion to protect people’s jobs and incomes through the furlough scheme, grants for the self-employed and other support for business and a £9.3 billion injection to strengthen the welfare safety net this year.”

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