Posted: Wed 17th Jun 2020

Jack Sargeant Column: “Marcus Rashford’s intervention should serve as a wakeup call to the UK Government”

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 17th, 2020

Alyn and Deeside MS Jack Sargeant writes a regular column on Deeside.com with updates on his work in the Welsh Parliament and closer to home.

Jack writes: Back in April I was delighted that the Welsh Labour Government announced they would guarantee ongoing funding for children to continue receiving free school meals throughout the summer holidays. 

The announcement followed calls from Members of the Senedd like myself who recognised the very real problem of children going hungry during school holidays.  

This week the issue has hit the headlines again because of the campaigning work of Marcus Rashford.

Marcus used his position to tell his own very personal story of food poverty and in doing so, forced the UK Government into a U-turn which means that children in England will also get support. 

In England each family will get £15 per child and in Wales £19.50.  

The question is – why were the UK Government so resistant to feeding children and why did it take the intervention of a footballer to convince them food poverty is real? 

Perhaps an even more important question is why are so many people struggling to afford food in one of the world’s wealthiest economies? 

These are all uncomfortable questions for a Tory government that has been in power for over ten years. 

After all, it is them that controls the major leavers that impact poverty across the UK.

Sadly, we live in a country where working a full-time job is no longer a guarantee of being able to put food on the table. 

As a result, foodbanks now exist in every town to meet the demand of growing numbers who would otherwise go hungry. 

It was recently reported that the number of frontline charities and community groups seeking help to feed the hungry from the UK’s largest food redistribution organisation has tripled since the start of the pandemic.

Marcus Rashford’s intervention should serve as a wakeup call to the UK Government, their policies weren’t working pre COVID and now even more people are struggling. 

I will continue to raise the issue of food poverty and will be working with the Welsh Government to ensure that families in Wales continue to receive support, until the time when food poverty is ended.

 

 

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