Medway Labour and Cooperative Group today expressed contempt for the Conservative Government’s derisory increase in funding for Medway’s free school meals for reception and infant pupils.
Current funding is £2.34 per meal and the government intend to increase this by only 7p to £2.41. The food industry sector has said that the low increase may result in catering firms pulling out of contracts and that firms will struggle to meet nutritional standards.
Cllr Clive Johnson, Medway Labour and Cooperative Group Shadow Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said today:
“This government’s reluctance to recognise the challenges faced by Medway’s families during the pandemic and the struggles they are facing with the Conservative’s cost of living crisis now targets their children.
“The government’s short-sighted, ‘penny-wise, pound-foolish’ attitude will not only put at risk what may be some children’s only hot and nutritious meal of the day but puts at risk also the viability of the companies struggling in the sector.
“With headline inflation running at 11%, food inflation running at up to twice that figure, with challenges in recruitment, the sector and Medway’s youngest pupils need support and imaginative solutions, not this shameful stinginess. We shouldn’t have to wait for a famous footballer to tell the Conservative government to do the right thing and feed our vulnerable children.”
For further information: Clive Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org