Summer school meals guaranteed after Johnson U-turn
The free school meal vouchers program will continue throughout the summer after pressure from a campaign led by Marcus Rashford. Rashford, a professional football player for Manchester United, launched a campaign to try to reverse the decision made by the government to stop free school meal vouchers when traditional term time had ended. Before the coronavirus crisis, children eligible for free school meals were provided them at school. After the schools shut down in mid-March, the government had provided vouchers for the families of children eligible for free school meals to be used to buy food. Originally, the government had planned to stop these vouchers across the summer holidays, but Rashford’s campaign called on the government to let them continue.
After the pressure from Rashford’s campaign, Boris Johnson performed a U-turn and announced that they would continue over summer. This will result in about 1.3m children having access to the vouchers across the summer holidays. Boris Johnson thanked Marcus Rashford ‘’for using what [he’s] built in a positive manner’’. Rashford stated that he was ‘’grateful that the prime minister did change his decision’’. It is not yet clear whether this will become permanent government policy or just another emergency provision of the coronavirus crisis.