CHILDREN who are eligible for free school meals will now receive summer food vouchers in what has been an extraordinary U-turn by the Government.
The vouchers will cover the six-week summer holiday period thanks to a high-profile campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford.
The Manchester United striker successfully lobbied the Government into reconsidering scrapping the initiative.
Labour sought to maximise the government’s embarrassment by using a debate in Parliament to discuss the voucher scheme after Johnson’s late policy change.
The Government now says 1.3 million children in England will benefit from the new Covid Summer Food Fund.
And the food vouchers will be worth £15 per week per eligible child to help ease the pressure on household budgets.
Rashford penciled a letter to all MPs detailing his own personal experiences and highlighted the difficulties which many families face.
Redditch MP Rachel Maclean said: “I would like to pay tribute to Marcus Rashford for highlighting to me the plight of parents during this most difficult of times.
“The provision for free school meals is ordinarily only available during term time, it is not intended for the national voucher scheme to run during the summer holidays.
“However, I’m delighted the Covid Summer School Fund will enable this to happen.”