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No more free school meal vouchers?

(505 Posts)
dottydotterson Tue 16-Jun-20 10:32:38

What do you think of the governments decision to end the free school meal vouchers for the summer? Do you agree or not?

OP’s posts: |
LellyMcKelly Tue 16-Jun-20 10:33:44

Do kids usually get them over the Summer?

justdontatme Tue 16-Jun-20 10:37:37

No, kids don’t usually get them over summer, but kids aren’t usually living through a global pandemic that has seen a huge rise in households in poverty.

garino Tue 16-Jun-20 10:43:01

Surely anyone getting free school meals would already be getting tax credits and child benefit? Can these be used to pay towards food?

DDiva Tue 16-Jun-20 10:44:27

They dont usually get them in the holidays. This is an issue but not a new issue.

Orangeblossom78 Tue 16-Jun-20 10:46:11

I'm not sure. It seems a bit unfair the cut off as anyone with a bit of working tax credits does not qualify. So it kind of excludes a lot of people on low incomes anyway

Orangeblossom78 Tue 16-Jun-20 10:46:31

income cut off I mean, not holiday cut off

Orangeblossom78 Tue 16-Jun-20 10:47:04

They have increased benefits about £100 a month too for the rest of the year

Mintjulia Tue 16-Jun-20 10:48:37

The govt needs to end the workload on the schools, yes.

The benefit system should be adjusted to provide vouchers for an extra two meals a day for children of benefit claimants, during the holidays.

Sirzy Tue 16-Jun-20 10:49:27

Many children rely on play schemes and lunch clubs over summer in order to eat. They are unlikely to be able to run this summer. Many parents will make sure that their children’s friends have something to eat when they are playing because they know how things are - that won’t happen this year.

Support services are already massively stretched

Whatever the rights and wrongs of it we shouldn’t let children go hungry just because we have reached the “summer holidays” at a time of national pandemic.

Meredithgrey1 Tue 16-Jun-20 10:53:07

I'm confused by the sudden interest in this. As PP have said, they never provide vouchers over summer holidays. I disagree with that, if you can't afford to feed your children during term time, that doesn't suddenly change in the holidays. So, I'm glad there is pressure on the government to change it, I just don't understand why there hasn't been this pressure in previous years.

NCforsafety Tue 16-Jun-20 10:53:15

No I don't agree they should be issued. I also don't see why UC payments were increased during the pandemic as unemployed people living on benefits weren't affected by drop in incomes? I'm slightly jaded on this though as I am one of the people who fell through the gaps on every government support scheme as I became self-employed in jan this year and so am ineligible for any support.
Btw I strongly believe in the welfare state so this is not about me bashing people living on welfare support/universal credit.
I fully support people who need help getting help but i just don't understand why a proportion of the population who were least affected by lockdown get an increase in payments when people who were massively affected (including me and DP) get nothing.

Aria20 Tue 16-Jun-20 10:57:40

Our school have been informed the vouchers have stopped this week! No notice...

ToothFairyNemesis Tue 16-Jun-20 10:59:04

This is an issue but not a new issue.
It is a new issue because for many children it won’t be safe for them to attend free lunch clubs in the summer.

newphoneswhodis Tue 16-Jun-20 10:59:52

Our school opens throughout the summer holidays giving sandwiches out to our fsm kids. Will they be allowed to do this still?

Aroundtheworldin80moves Tue 16-Jun-20 11:00:40

While I'm not happy that the vouchers being stopped, I am happy that this yearly issue is being more widely acknowledged this year.
Simple answer of what normally happens... Parents go without food. Families rely on food banks. Other organisations step into the gap. Incomes don't magically increase to cover extra meals during the holidays.

ToothFairyNemesis Tue 16-Jun-20 11:01:29

They have increased benefits about £100 a month too for the rest of the year
Only for people on wtc so exempt from free school meals. Also UC however majority of non working households will not receive the extra ££88 ( it’s not £100) due to the benefit cap.
It’s people not entitled to fsm that will benefit.

ForeverBubblegum Tue 16-Jun-20 11:02:49

I think the real issue is that kids go hungry during summer holidays at all. This was happening before corrona, and will most likely continue to happen afterwards. This is the problem we need to focus on.

I don't know what the solution is, increase benefits? But even then the money won't get to all kids, which is why some schools are giving pack lunchs instead. I would support a similar voucher scheme, run by LA for all holidays, but not sure there's political will (sad but true, gov. will focus money on vote winning schemes while children go hungry).

Short term I'm trying to donate a little extra to my local food bank this year, and would encourage anyone who can to do the same.

lyralalala Tue 16-Jun-20 11:05:44

It is an issue as none of the usual summer lunch alternatives are likely to be open.

Many schools provide lunch of some sort during the summer holidays because families struggle. Those families will struggle even more so with reduced wages, more expensive shopping (we're not low income and even I've noticed the difference in the price of the weekly shop), less family assistance and no holiday clubs.

raspberryk Tue 16-Jun-20 11:05:48

@NCforsafety it's about time the benefit rate went up, I don't think it's increased for years before this! Its less than 25 a week and that's not a lot, our food bill has increased for example because we are not able to get all it the offered and cheap items due to stock levels etc. A single parent may be trying to shop online now, so there's the added expense of the delivery, plus the cheaper shops don't do delivery.
They have been in me to buy cheap clothes and shoes in Primark, also an added expense to order online.

WhatWouldYouDoWhatWouldJesusDo Tue 16-Jun-20 11:07:29

In all honesty I've been on benefits with DC at home and have friends who have too.......we also had a mortgage to pay so had less, disposable income than most. We never struggled to pay for food. We couldn't afford luxuries or takeaways but we never went without. My friends who have been through the same have the same experiences.

Unless there's a real and understandable reason as in benefit sanctions and delays or a huge unexpected bill I think we need to start questioning why so many people claim they can't afford to feed their kids and why some arent able to prioritise that need. I fully expect to get pounded on for saying this but meh.

It's obviously an issue that needs addressing to help break the cycle of food poverty and the real worry that must bring
to children and theyre families instead of just patching up with free food and vouchers.

contrmary Tue 16-Jun-20 11:07:38

No, they shouldn't issue "free" school meal vouchers over the summer holidays. (They are not "free" by the way, the food still has to be paid for.)

lyralalala Tue 16-Jun-20 11:07:58

NCforsafety

No I don't agree they should be issued. I also don't see why UC payments were increased during the pandemic as unemployed people living on benefits weren't affected by drop in incomes? I'm slightly jaded on this though as I am one of the people who fell through the gaps on every government support scheme as I became self-employed in jan this year and so am ineligible for any support.
Btw I strongly believe in the welfare state so this is not about me bashing people living on welfare support/universal credit.
I fully support people who need help getting help but i just don't understand why a proportion of the population who were least affected by lockdown get an increase in payments when people who were massively affected (including me and DP) get nothing.

People on benefits were affected by the fact that the prices of grocery shopping went up. They're also affected by things like higher electricity bills having the kids home all day. Going forward into winter if school is still part-time that will also give higher heating bills.

There is a big difference between least affected and not affected.

GreenTulips Tue 16-Jun-20 11:08:49

Why does it have to be school centred though?

Why can’t other organisations step up?

The biggest issue is not all kids go hungry over the holidays only some. So for the government to take an all or nothing approach costs £120,000,000 for 6 weeks

That’s a lot of money when only a few are effected.

I suppose if nothings open money can’t be spent on play schemes or clubs etc

PurpleButterflyAway Tue 16-Jun-20 11:10:32

Just that time of year when I spend 8-12 weeks of surviving on less than one meal a day again so the kids don’t starve. I’m a student, don’t get UC/benefits other than tax and child benefit. Can’t get a job this summer thanks to the pandemic, but hey so long as no one is put out by people getting vouchers or benefit top ups when having the kids home 24/7 means your food bill doubles eh @NCforsafety !

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