Crawley Borough Council Leader calls on Government to fund free school meals through the holiday

Cllr Peter Lamb, Labour Leader of Crawley Borough Council, calls on the Government to fund free school meals throughout the holiday

Even before the pandemic, a third of Crawley’s children were growing up in poverty. Now, with more families in Crawley facing unemployment than ever before, the need to ensure children from low-income households are fed through the school holidays has never been greater.

Cllr Lamb has called on the government to extend free school meals into the school holidays, including the upcoming October half term and Christmas, to ensure no child goes hungry during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, MP’s voted down a Labour Party motion which would have extended free school meals into the holiday period, meaning 2,511 children in Crawley are now at risk of going hungry over the holidays.

The October half term comes as millions of families face a furlough cliff-edge that could see up to 40% of Crawley’s working-age population rendered unemployed.

Cllr Lamb said:

“Crawley’s economy is suffering the impact of COVID-19 harder than anywhere else in the country, the government’s unwillingness to support the aviation sector having cost the town thousands of jobs with thousands more at risk. Now more than ever we need support for low-income families to ensure the mistakes of the government don’t force children to go hungry.”

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