Nottingham City Council is endorsing Marcus Rashford’s campaign to tackle holiday hunger among children by making more money available to support families in need.
It follows the vote by Parliament to reject the England footballer’s campaign to extend free schools meals to children during the holidays.
The council will further invest in the city’s network of community support organisations and food banks that was established during the Covid-19 lockdown. During the lockdown, children from families who usually receive free school meals were able to get food vouchers while schools were closed. Families in need were also able to be signposted to help and support by calling the council’s Customer Hub.
Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said:
“The Government had a clear opportunity to show its support for children who receive free school meals, but MPs voted to reject Marcus Rashford’s big to end holiday hunger. Nottingham City Council will not stand by while families go hungry. I’m proud of the way our city established a strong network of community organisations during lockdown – it’s what makes Nottingham such a great place.
“The council will further invest in these groups to make sure that children and families are supported to get the help they need for the remainder of half-term and over the Christmas holidays.”
Cllr Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Communities, said:
“No one should feel like they have nowhere to turn if they or their children are hungry. If people need support with food and holiday hunger, they can call us at the council and we will make sure they get the help they need.
“We are disappointed by the Government’s decision on extending free schools meals, but Nottingham is committed to ensuring that no family goes hungry. More than 11,500 children in Nottingham are eligible for free school meals and for some children living in poverty, this is an essential way to get a regular meal.
“If your child usually receives free school meals, please call us and we will issue you with a £15 voucher per child to help ensure no child goes hungry this half term.”
Families who need support can apply online from Wednesday 28 October by visiting www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/coronavirus or calling our Customer Hub on 0115 915 5555.