Munira took the Government to task in Parliament yesterday over holiday hunger, urging the Government to extend free school meals into the winter holidays.

Speaking in the opposition day debate on free school meals, Munira raised the case of Wales, where Lib Dem Education Minister Kirsty Williams has already guaranteed free school meal provision for school holidays until at least Easter 2021.

Holiday hunger is not a new issue, as even before the pandemic, 4.2 million children were living in poverty in the UK. However, Covid-19 has caused a sharp rise in food insecurity, with 14% of parents/guardians experiencing insecurity between March and August this year.

Munira urges Govt to guarantee free school meals in Parliament

Speaking in Parliament, Munira said:

“[Referring to raising the income tax personal allowance]… given that he is making such a passionate defence of what was a Liberal Democrat policy in the coalition Government, perhaps he might follow another Liberal Democrat policy—that of the Education Minister in Wales, Kirsty Williams, who has extended free school meals until April next year—so that some 2,000 children in my constituency of Twickenham will not go hungry in the holidays this winter?”

Following her intervention, Munira said:

“Holiday hunger has not gone away since the Government’s u-turn over the summer following the brilliant work of Marcus Rashford. That much is obvious.

It would be hugely unjust for this Government to allow children to go hungry this winter, particularly in the middle of the pandemic. Yet, it is sitting on its hands and failing to act.

The Government must do the right thing and extend free school meals to the school holidays so no child goes hungry. I will continue to press the case in Parliament.”