No child should be going to bed hungry in this country today | Emma Kay

Why does it always seem to be children who have to bear the brunt of government decisions? We are seeing the same patterns repeated again and again.

By Emma Kay
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 8:18 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 8:19 am

Education’s dwindling budgets have created the need for schools having no alternative but to swap hot meals for sandwiches because of the rising cost of food and the inevitable funding cuts. For vulnerable pupils these school meals may be the only substantial meal they get each day.

Schools are now having to make the choice of offering smaller portions or put up the prices of paid-for meals that will only increase the financial strain on families with average earnings and not eligible for free school meals but who are already facing school debt because they are unable to keep up with the present cost of payments.

School meal funding for children in the first three years of their school life has increased to £2.34 a meal. The increase is 4p since the ‘first three years’ rule was introduced in 2014. I’ll repeat that: A 4p rise per meal in the past eight years. That is well below the rate of inflation without the soaring cost of food prices due to geopolitics.

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It could be their only hot meal of the day. Picture: Adobe

I can’t imagine the stress of so many parents wondering if they can afford a meal at school for their children. No doubt many go without themselves. Parents should only be worrying if their child has completed their homework not if they have enough in their bellies. How can this government, which has been in power since 2010, live with its decision of a 4p rise in eight years?

Maintaining a good level of food availability in schools should be a priority. Children should not be going hungry. But alas, we saw our government not long ago voting to end free school meals.

To qualify for a free school meal, households must have an income of less than £7,400 a year, excluding benefits. This depressingly low level of eligibility means families go into debt and are pushed out of qualifying for free school lunches. These are kids going hungry while our millionaire, and now it seems billionaire, government runs as fast as a dead snail to ‘help’ people out of poverty and desperation.

AND THEY DID TAKE THEIR OWN BOOS…

Was there a certain smugness in witnessing the look of our peach-faced prime minster ascending the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral for the Platinum Jubilee thanksgiving service only to be greeted by a barrage of boos?

It is both hilarious and sad that Boris has now transformed himself into a full-on pantomime bad guy oozing villainy.

I’m so envious of Carol Vorderman’s clever pun in her Tweet: ‘Bring your own boos!’

It was a quippy homage to the partygate scandal which I see now includes nine new photos of our leader partying while people lay dying alone in hospital.

Yes, the boos were justified.

Yes, they outnumbered the cheers.

When you are happy to play the villain, I’m afraid you don’t get the right to strut along the streets of London to a round of applause.

Perhaps he should have taken his own Covid advice and stayed indoors.

No one wants to party with you any more prime minister.

THERE SHOULD BE NO NEED TO BEG FOR HELP FROM THE NHS

What could be lifesaving advice and information for transgender and non-binary people who are pregnant has been blocked on the NHS website by senior health service figures for nearly a year.

The pursuit of prenatal and postnatal care is just as important as the birth itself, for parent and child.

Ignoring the very real medical and social issues non-binary and transgender people face when conceiving, gestating and giving birth helps no one. Least of all the child.

Thankfully, a whistle-blower has been brave enough to defy senior officials and get this information out. I mean, come on...we live in a country where support for basic health information should not have be begged for from the NHS. This should NOT be an issue. And yet, every day, it still happens.

Online information is a major source of information to people.

One person’s health should not be deemed to be worth less than another’s.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​