Sutton Council has launched a food package scheme to ensure children don’t go hungry over the half term break.

The efforts come after the Government defeated a Labour motion to extend free school meals provision in England over the holidays, despite a huge campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford.

On October 21, the Labour motion was rejected by 322 votes to 261.

Since the motion was rejected, volunteer groups, companies and councils have vowed to support children during the half term.

The Sutton scheme will focus on supporting parents whose children (0-17 years old) currently have a social worker, are living in emergency housing or where the child’s family is currently eligible for short breaks.

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For low income families that are not eligible under this scheme, one of the Council's key partners, Community Action Sutton, will also provide food parcels from its Hill House base to those families most in need in the borough during half term.

Families can also contact Sutton Food Bank in the event that they need further support.

Councillor Marian James, Chair of the Council’s People Committee, said:

“Following the Government announcement last week on free school meals, the Council worked swiftly on Friday to put a scheme in place to ensure vulnerable children do not go hungry this holiday.

“This food voucher scheme, and our ongoing partnership with Community Action Sutton to provide food parcels, will ensure Sutton’s most vulnerable school pupils do not go hungry during half term.

"The Council is under severe financial pressure as a result of increasing local need during the pandemic, but we couldn’t stand by and leave our most vulnerable families without food and support.”

Sutton Council will issue vouchers in £15 denominations per child with a social worker. The council will provide £30 vouchers for pupils who have a two week half term.

Parents can apply online for a voucher from the Council for each eligible child / pupil.

To find out more on the scheme, visit here.