More than 10,000 children in Milton Keynes received free school meal over half term

The vouchers were issued by MK Council

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 2:51 pm

MK Council ensured more than 10,000 local children did not go hungry over half term.

The council secured funding to issue 8,858 supermarket e-vouchers worth £151,275 as part of their MK Covid Holiday Help Scheme over the October break.

The vouchers, each worth £15, were issued by at least 131 schools and nurseries throughout the borough.

Schools gave out food vouchers to ensure children eligible for free school meals did not go hungry over half term

Labour councillor Zoe Nolan, Cabinet member for Children and Families, said: “It is at the heart of the Progressive Alliance to tackle child poverty and support our children and young people; I’m so pleased these vouchers were able to help us do that over the half term.”

Last year, the Child Poverty Commission found almost 23,000 children were living in poverty in Milton Keynes, a figure Progessive Alliance describes as "heartbreaking".

They have been working with partners on other initiatives to help tackle child poverty. These include opening over 10 community food larders in partnership with SOFEA, Community Fridge and Foodbank Xtra, and launching a school uniform recycling scheme where uniforms can be bought at a reduced cost.

The council is also piloting a childcare deposit scheme to support parents and carers who want to work but struggle with upfront childcare costs.

MK Council secured funding for free school meal vouchers over the summer holidays, alongside running their 30,000 Summer of Play sessions.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Jane Carr, Cabinet member for Tackling Inequality and Child Poverty said: “Tackling child poverty should be the priority of our MPs, and we’re calling on them to fight for a long-term solution to holiday hunger, and to fight for the heartless £20 cut to Universal Credit to be delayed.”