• Kia Fullerton

Boris Johnson has reversed the decision to end free school meal vouchers next month

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reversed the decision to end free school meal vouchers next month.

Following intense campaigning by Manchester United star Marcus Rashford, downing street announced the major U-turn and said vouchers would be available for families over the holiday.

In an open letter to MPs, Rashford pleaded for the scheme to continue throughout the break to help support the most vulnerable families.

He wrote:  "The Government has taken a ‘whatever it takes’ approach to the economy – I’m asking you today to extend that same thinking to protecting all vulnerable children across England.

"I encourage you to hear their pleas and find your humanity. Please reconsider your decision to cancel the food voucher scheme over the summer holiday period and guarantee the extension."

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: "The NEU welcomes the news that the government will provide a £120 million Covid summer food fund to support children and families who are facing real crisis as the summer holiday approaches.

"In the fifth richest country in the world, it is not right that so many children face food insecurity, especially in a time of global health crisis."

Courtney added: "The hardship and struggle our current benefit system and support for those living in poverty will not end with the containment of this virus. Covid-19 is a natural phenomenon –  poverty is not."

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