You have no doubt seen and heard a lot of mention in the news and online about summer holiday food provision, including our news updates, tweets and messages about the change.org petition (currently approaching 250,000 signatures).
The Children First Alliance, supported by many of you organisationally or individually, has been campaigning hard on this issue and has joined forces with other organisations, including the UK Youth Parliament, to fight a coordinated battle to persuade the Government to extend the scheme through the summer break, as the Welsh Government has done. There are 1.3 million children in England alone who are eligible for free school meals, many of whom have already been adversely affected by the lockdown, so there is huge potential for a lot of hungry children this summer.
The monthly newsletter to MPs recently included a request that they raise the matter in a parliamentary question. We were pleased to see that over 20 did exactly that, while a number of others went further with letters, tweets and other forms of pressure.
In partnership with the UK Youth Parliament, a virtual protest march is being planned, involving home-made placards, slogans, photos and videos, hashtags, social media and so on. We will have more news about this next week. So far the Government is saying no but we need to keep up the pressure as a matter of urgency as the summer holidays are a matter of weeks away.
What can you do to support this? Making something go viral needs volume, of course, so please . . .
- make a placard calling on the Government to provide food to those children on free school meals over the summer – use your own wording but include the hashtag #schoolmeals4summer on the placard
- take a photo of you and your placard
- post it on any social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok
- (IMPORTANT) use the hashtag #schoolmeals4summer
- (OPTIONAL) tag Children First Alliance @Ch1stAlliance if posting in Instagram, Twitter or Tiktok
- encourage others to do the same
The launch time for this is 5 pm on Monday (15th June) but you don’t need to wait until then: it would be great to have a few “marchers” uploaded already at the time of the launch.