Free School Meals: Stop Punishing the Working Class

Dear Boris Johnson,

It has come to my attention that you and your fellow party members have voted against free school meals for students at risk over the holiday period.

Where is your humanity?

In a year filled with strife and economic suffering, how do you expect working class families to provide meals for their children? Poverty campaigners have estimated over 1 million families have recently signed up for free school meals for the first time in 2020, and how can we blame them? The furlough scheme, as grateful as we are, is leaving families without disposable income to cover the costs of feeding their innocent children, who simply want to focus on their education instead of their rumbling stomachs.

Even without the pandemic, these families are suffering. They may be domestic abuse survivors, sufferers of physical, or long-term illness or struggling with their mental health. By providing children free school meals or food vouchers to spend at local supermarkets, you are taking a small weight off the already burdening pressures of these parents, who simply want to ensure their children are safe and well.

Even if it’s the parent’s fault for mismanaging their finances, how can we blame their children, who cannot fend for themselves?

MPs can claim up to £25 for food and non-alcoholic drink for each night spent outside London or their constituency as part of their work. There are 650 MPs. That is £16,250 spent per day on MPs food, who already earn on average £80,000 a year aside from the food scheme. So why can’t we spare £2 a day on a child suffering from poverty and the austerity caused at your party’s hands Boris?

As a woman from a working-class background and a previous recipient of free school meals, I know I would not be studying at a world class university without this help. We need to give children the ability to escape poverty and be liberated – they cannot do this on empty stomachs. Do you think Marcus Rashford would be where he is without the free school help? He is a hero for the many: fighting for children’s rights, whilst the government, who is supposed to serve and protect, fail to do so.

Wake up.

From,

An Angry Student

 

Words By: Anna Duffell

Edited By: Mary White