• Holiday hunger providers demand 'multi-year funding' as DfE extends scheme

    The government must allocate “multi-year funding” for its holiday activities and food programme, previous recipients said after the announcement of a £220 million expansion to the scheme. The extension of HAF to all areas in England and into the Easter and Christmas holidays next year was announced on Sunday, following mounting pressure on ministers to

    15.00 Nov. 13th, 2020 | News

  • Rashford nets another U-turn as ministers pledge ‘winter grants’ and extend holiday hunger scheme

    A programme that provides free activities and food during the summer holidays will be extended nationwide and cover both Christmas and Easter next year, the government has announced, in another major victory for footballer Marcus Rashford. The Department for Work and Pensions announced today that a £220 million extension of the holiday activities and food

    0.01 Nov. 8th, 2020 | News

  • MPs removed from food poverty charity's board following free school meals vote row

    A former shadow education minister has said she is “deeply upset” after she and three other MPs were removed from the board of a food poverty charity following a row over the parliamentary vote on free school meals. Feeding Britain has announced a “restructure” of its board that has seen former shadow education minister Emma

    10.46 Oct. 28th, 2020 | News

  • No evidence for minister’s claim parents ‘prefer to pay’ for school dinners

    A government minister stands accused of misleading the public after he falsely claimed that research showed parents “actually prefer to pay a modest sum” of “£1 or £2”, instead of receiving free school meals. It is pretty desperate to see ministers making misleading claims in order to justify voting against feeding hungry children in a

    22.30 Oct. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • Ministers ‘knew all along’ free school meal vouchers would cover Easter

    Ministers have been accused of knowing “all along” they would extend the national voucher scheme into the Easter holidays. But Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, did not announce the decision to continue providing the vouchers to families eligible for free school meals until April 4, the day after most schools broke up for the

    15.00 Sep. 25th, 2020 | News

  • Spending watchdog opens inquiry into national free school meal voucher fiasco

    The public spending watchdog is to investigate the government’s free school meals voucher scheme following wide-ranging problems that left parents and children to go hungry. The National Audit Office said the investigation will “set out the facts” about the voucher scheme, including probing the Department for Education’s “objectives and choice of contractor to run the

    15.52 Jul. 23rd, 2020 | News

  • All quiet on FSM voucher ‘safety mechanisms’

    There is no evidence that the national free school meals voucher scheme has built-in safety mechanisms that stop the cash going on booze and cigarettes, Schools Week has found. Last week, Ben Bradley, a Conservative MP, demanded safeguards be installed to stop parents spending vouchers on items other than food for children. “Parents aren’t necessarily

    13.00 Jun. 26th, 2020 | News

  • DfE finally reveals details of Covid summer food fund

    Details of the government’s Covid summer food fund have finally been released, over a week after the scheme was unveiled. The fund will allow schools to order free school meals vouchers for eligible children to cover the summer holidays following a government U-turn. Guidance on the fund has now been published, setting out how the

    12.43 Jun. 25th, 2020 | News

  • Government sets up £120m 'Covid summer food fund' after free meal vouchers U-turn

    The government has said it will provide free school meal vouchers over the summer holidays in a significant U-turn, following mounting pressure led by footballer Marcus Rashford. Until today, ministers had been adamant that the scheme, which has replaced school lunches for many disadvantaged children during partial closures, would end when schools break up in

    13.12 Jun. 16th, 2020 | News

  • Extend free school meal vouchers over summer holiday, says senior Tory MP

    The government’s national free school meal voucher scheme should be extended to cover the summer holidays, the chair of the Commons education committee has said. Robert Halfon, a former Conservative education minister, has written to children’s minister Vicky Ford to express “huge concern” that the scheme will stop in mid-July. It comes after food charity

    16.36 Jun. 5th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Schools expected to deliver food parcels when more pupils return

    Schools will be expected to make food parcels available for delivery or collection instead of using the national voucher scheme when more pupils go back from Monday.  Prime minister Boris Johnson has confirmed schools can begin a phased reopening from Monday as the government’s five tests on the coronavirus outbreak were being met. In updated

    10.36 May. 29th, 2020 | News