The Government has rejected calls from Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford to provide free school meals to children during all school holidays as part of his campaign to end food poverty.
The England striker’s petition urging the Government to go further in tackling child hunger hit 100,000 signatures just 10 hours after it was launched.
The petition calls for food to be provided during all holidays and for free school meals to be expanded to all households on Universal Credit
However at the Daily Downing Street briefing a No 10 spokesman said:
We took that decision to extend free school meals during the pandemic when schools were partially closed during lockdown. We’re in a different position now with schools back open to all pupils.
“It’s not for schools to regularly provide food to pupils during the school holidays.
“We believe the best way to support families outside of term time is through Universal Credit rather than Government subsidising meals.”
On hearing the news Rashford tweeted
Merry Christmas kids…It’s also not for food banks to feed millions of British children but here we are. 250% increase in food poverty and rising…This is not going away anytime soon and neither am I…