MP raises fears of children going hungry over summer holidays
Monday 21st August 2017 @ 16:21 by Tom Greggan
Denton & Audenshaw News Tameside

Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne has raised fears for children across Tameside as thousands could go hungry this summer due to no access to free school meals.

New data from anti-poverty charity The Trussell Trust has revealed that families are now increasingly reliant on food banks during the summer holidays, with 47% of food parcels going to families with primary school aged children. The worst affected will be the estimated 6,401 children across the borough who will no longer receive the free school meal they’re eligible for during term time.

Andrew Gwynne said: “I’m angry that so many hard-working families are having to rely on food bank parcels to help feed their children over the summer holidays.

“Child poverty is at it’s highest level since the crash of 2008 with wages falling; as a result, families are worse off. This isn’t an aspersion, but facts are being reported by the respected ONS.

“Every child deserves to be well fed every day, and Labour will introduce a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour to ensure that every family is able to make ends meet.”

The most recent figures from the Office of National Statistics show that real household disposable income per head has dropped by 2% compared to 2016, so even though more households than ever have at least one member in paid work, more families are also having to turn to food banks to help make ends meet.

As a result, the children of these families risk hunger over the school holidays as their parents often don’t have the additional resources to feed their children when they would normally be given a meal at school.

A total of 176,140 children across the North West are at risk of going hungry this summer without access to a school meal at lunchtimes.