Thousands of Midlands schoolchildren to receive free meals over half term

The Government voted down a Labour motion to extend a school meal voucher scheme, inspired by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford. Credit: PA Images

Thousands of schoolchildren across the Midlands are set receive free meal vouchers over half term next week.

Councils and businesses are stepping forward to provide free meals after a bitter national row when the Government voted down a Labour motion to extend a school meal voucher scheme, inspired by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

Birmingham City Council has said it will provide 61,000 children in the city with free school meals vouchers over the half-term.

This situation is unsustainable. We need a plan from the Government. They cannot go on waiting until the very brink of school holidays before announcing they are not going to put any support in.

Ian Ward, Lead of Birmingham City Council

The leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, Ian Brookfield, has announced that the council will fund meals for 16,000 schoolchildren in Wolverhampton.

Telford and Wrekin Council also confirmed today that it has extended its free school meal breakfast provision into the New Year.

Burton Albion FC have also announced that they will be providing up to one hundred children per day with free takeaway packed lunches throughout half term.

The Brewers said the lunches will be available to collect from the Pirelli Stadium Club Shop throughout half term (26-30 October).

Rashford has also revealed on his Twitter page, businesses and charities in the Midlands who are offering free meals:


Marcus Rashford urged for politics to be 'put aside' after the government rejected a plan to provide free school meals over the Christmas holidays, earlier this week.

MPs voted 322 to 261 against the Labour motion which would have extended free school meal provision over the Christmas and Easter.

After the vote Rashford said people needed to put aside politics and realise "a significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter."

Since then, councils and business owners up and down the country have stepped forward to provide free meals for children this half term.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs at PMQs:

“We support kids on low incomes in school and we will continue to do so,”

“But the most important thing is to keep them in school and not tear off into another national lockdown taking them out of school.

“We will continue to use the benefits system and all the systems of income to support children throughout the holidays as well.”