• Conor calls on the Government to act on school holiday hunger

    Conor has added his name to Labour MP Frank Field’s Bill calling on the Government to act to stop children going hungry during the school holidays, which has been presented in Parliament.

    The issue of food poverty among children is often worse during school breaks when free school meals are not available, adding to the pressure facing families and forcing some to rely on food banks.

    The School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill that would put a legal duty on local councils to ensure the provision of free school meals and activities for children during the summer break.

    The move comes after a report from MPs revealed that around 3 million children were at risk of going without school meals during the summer – with the loss of free school meals for two months adding up to £40 a week to a family’s outgoings for one child.

    In St Helens, the council had holiday schemes running on weekdays in churches and children’s centres where children could get a hot meal and join activities.

    Conor has visited the Make Lunch St Helens project that aims to help parents who struggle to provide a hot meal for their children during the school summer break.

    But he warned that the Government must do more to help cash-strapped councils and parents ensure that children do not go hungry during school holidays.

    Conor said: “A growing number of families in St Helens and across the region are finding it hard to make sure their children get a hot meal during the school holidays.

    “The absence of free school meals puts them under increasing financial pressure and they often have to try to find extra money to pay for activities for their children during school breaks.

    “There are some fantastic local projects doing their best to provide support, but we need more action from the Government to make sure children do not go hungry during school holidays.”