Calderdale Labour council leader Tim Swift has written to the Chancellor urging him to extend the free school meal scheme over the summer.
Cllr Swift says: “Even before the Covid-19 crisis, more than four thousand Calderdale primary children were receiving free school meals – that’s about one family in every five. We know that this crisis has pushed many more families into poverty, with extra demand on food banks and other sources of help, as households find themselves needing to claim universal credit and other assistance often for the first time.
“The Government is already spending many billions of pounds on economic support during this crisis. The cost of extending free school meals over the summer is relatively small, and yet it would appear that they have ruled this out. Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner, has already asked the Government to think again, and I am writing to urge them to listen to her request.
“A free school meal is one of the last lines of defence against poverty and hunger for children; this would be a relatively simple and cost effective way for Government to help many struggling families and children at this time.”