Many families reliant on free school meals already struggle to put food on the table. At a time of financial uncertainty for many, our most vulnerable families are not receiving the support they are entitled to.
With schools closed due to the coronavirus lockdown, a huge number of parents, teachers and schools have
contacted Siobhain to report difficulties with the Free School Meal system that is supposed to continue through a voucher scheme.
We have heard from schools who cannot access the system, from parents who do not have an email address, and from families without internet access. For example, across the country there are 127,370 children trapped in temporary accommodation who are often moved between accommodation and struggle to find a provider who will change homes as frequently as they do.
What’s more, where it is in operation, the vouchers are only redeemable at specific stores, with Waitrose and Marks and Spencer eligible but stores including Lidl and the Co-op not. Would it not be in the interest of the families, the supermarkets and the taxpayer if all stores were part of the scheme and not just the most expensive?
And so Siobhain has coordinated a letter signed by over 70 MPs of all political parties calling for urgent measures to rectify the problems facing this system. This letter was covered by a range of national press, including BBC News who highlighted the situation for a number of our local schools and families.
You can see this piece here
and Siobhain's letter in full here
If your school is still having difficulties with the system, please do not hesitate to contact Siobhain directly at firstname.lastname@example.org so that she can raise urgently on your behalf.
The campaign continues!