The Government was forced to make an embarrassing U-turn on Free School Meals in November this year following a huge amount of pressure from footballer Marcus Rashford, supported by the Liberal Democrats.
The Conservatives had previously refused to extend Free School Meals to cover the school holidays for the duration of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Coronavirus has had a significant impact on people’s livelihoods with many people losing jobs and burning through their savings. Free School Meals are a lifeline for many families who would otherwise struggle to afford to feed their children. The Government stubbornly refused to provide this additional support until the pressure from the country became too much and they fortunately changed their minds.
Meanwhile, after Lib Dem pressure, Somerset County Council allocated £125,000 to feed the over 8000 Somerset children eligible for Free School Meals during the October half term. However, we recently discovered that they failed to spend even a penny of that allocation. The Lib Dems called on the Conservatives to step up over the Christmas holidays and we will be checking that they followed through.