Rebecca Evans MS, Member of the Senedd for Gower, has announced that in her role as Minister for Finance she will be making funds available to ensure that free school meals provision during holidays will continue until Easter 2021.
Rebecca Evans MS said: “The Welsh Government have responded to the urgent need of the most vulnerable children in Wales, so that provision is put in place to ensure the most vulnerable children of our country are supported when they need it most.”
The move has been backed by footballer Marcus Rashford saying he welcomed “the Welsh Government's swift response to this urgent need in protecting the most vulnerable children across the country.” Marcus Rashford MBE said: "Holiday provision is vital to stabilising households during the school closures, given the devastating effects of COVID-19.
“Having this framework in place for the foreseeable future will have a significantly positive impact on children who are struggling to engage in learning due to anxiety and fear, not to mention the noise of their rumbling stomachs.
“No child in 2020 should be sat in a classroom worried about how they are going to access food during the holidays, and the impact that will have on their parents when matched with unemployment, ill health and, in some cases, personal loss. “There is still so much more work to be done to protect this next generation but I welcome the Welsh Government's swift response to this urgent need in protecting the most vulnerable children across the country. Our children and their welfare should never not be the priority.”
The Welsh Government has committed to funding of £11m for school meals over every holiday up to and including Easter 2021. £700k has also been allocated to support colleges with the equivalent provision for eligible learners.
Mrs Evans added: “These are uncertain and worrying times for us all, but for those living in poverty the burden is even heavier, with many parents faced with the dilemma of how to feed their children during the holidays. The Welsh Government will always have the needs of the children of Wales at the top of our agenda."