I am very concerned by the images of inadequate school meals parcels we have seen circulated on social media in recent days.
The pandemic has already had a devastating impact on many families’ budgets and this is only likely to worsen over the coming weeks. Around 200,000 children were forced to skip meals at the height of the first lockdown and ministers should be doing absolutely everything they can to ensure this does not happen again.
My colleague Tulip Siddiq, Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years, has written to her opposite number in Government to call for urgent action, including an immediate investigation into the cases raised, an explanation of how the scheme is being monitored and why schools are strongly encouraged to supply parcels rather than vouchers, and confirmation of whether parcels are required to meet official schools standards. You can read Tulip’s letter in full here: https://twitter.com/TulipSiddiq/status/1349049590088130564
I have also contacted Lewisham Council about this. My understanding is that so far the council has not been made aware of any issues locally, but I would encourage any families or schools who have concerns to get in touch.
Rest assured that my Labour colleagues and I will continue to raise this wherever we can and – as ever – push the Government to ensure that families are receiving the support they need.