Coronavirus: Tony Lloyd MP calls on Government to tackle Holiday Hunger

Tony Lloyd, MP for Rochdale, has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Education with concerns about Rochdale children who receive Free School Meals.

Tony Lloyd said, “There are 7,615 children on Free School Meals in the Borough of Rochdale, and the closure of Rochdale schools due to COVID-19 will create more hungry children, whose ‘one good meal a day’ was their school dinner.

“Over 33% of Rochdale children currently live in poverty, and given the situation surrounding COVID-19 this figure is about to worsen.”

The Holiday Activities Fund is a targeted scheme to stave off Holiday Hunger, and is administered by the Department for Education (DFE).

DfE officials have been urging the Treasury to increase its Holiday Activities Fund package to £18million this year, but only £9million has been awarded.

Tony Lloyd said, “Rochdale had been earmarked for £517,000, but budgets changed and we narrowly missed out.

“That’s why I have written to the Chancellor and the Education Secretary to increase the DfE Holiday Activities Fund to help stave off school holiday hunger.”