'In a tough winter, no child should be going hungry.' - MP pays tribute to volunteers that have stepped in to tackle food poverty after parliament voted down bill to extend free school meals
Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper has paid tribute to the people who have been helping in the fight against food poverty.
It follows a motion to extend free school meals in to the holidays being rejected by parliament.
Labour MPs Yvette Cooper and Jon Trickett, for Hemsworth, voted in favour of the motion, while Conservative MPs Imran Ahmad Khan for Wakefield and Andrea Jenkyns, for Morley and Outwood, voted against.
The motion was inspired by a campaign from Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford.
Following efforts to step in and help within her own constituency, Ms Cooper said: “If the government won’t do the right thing on free school meals during the holidays then people in our towns will.
"Local cafes, pubs and community groups are doing an amazing job this week - supporting families with children during half term.
"We’ve also been collecting donations and delivering packed lunches. It just blows you away to see how many people have sent support.
"People across our towns are saying loud and clear that no child should go hungry - but it should never have come to this, the government should be listening.
"Many of the cafes and pubs who are helping kids this week are themselves facing real pressure because of Covid. So too are the families who are donating to help others. Our local heroes are putting ministers to shame.
“Thank you to Morrisons who have donated free packed lunches, to local businesses like The Magnet Hotel in Castleford who are doing free hot meals for children, to Kellingley Club in Knottingley, Maud’s Café in Pontefract, Vicki’s Cups & Cakes in Normanton and so many more.
I will be keeping a list of cafes, pubs and businesses who are offering support updated on my Facebook page but if you are struggling, you can also get in touch with my office on [email protected]
"Thankfully, Wakefield’s Labour Council have announced that they will step in and provide FSM support during the Christmas holidays, but it’s a disgrace that the government has let it come to this after all the brilliant campaigning by Marcus Rashford and the outpouring of support from people across the country.
"In a tough winter, no child should be going hungry."