Tuesday 16 June 2020
Green Party Councillor for Castlereagh South, Simon Lee, has said that the Executive must extend free school meal payments over the summer months.
Cllr Lee - who works as a teacher - made the call as free school meals support payments are due to finish at the end of the school term in June.
Cllr Lee said: “I’ve volunteered across the Castlereagh area during the course of the pandemic and it’s clear that many families are struggling from sudden changes in circumstances.
“Covid-19 didn’t give rise to holiday hunger but job losses and income drops have exacerbated already difficult situations.
“The Department for Communities was quick to implement a £27 per fortnight payment in lieu of free school meals. This payment represented a lifeline for many families - one that will be lost in the coming weeks.
“Footballer Marcus Rashford showed great fortitude in talking about the hunger he faced as a child and asking the UK Government and step up to support low income families through the summer.
“As a devolved administration, the NI Executive can and should act in the best interests of our young people and their families on the issue of holiday hunger. I’m calling for the schools meals payment scheme to be extended before we get to the end of the month.”
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498