Cllr Brian Smyth has welcomed today’s announcement of the school holiday food grant for this summer by the Education Minister.

The Green Party NI representative for Lisnasharragh said, “I welcome the £12.6million funding that has finally been provided for the families of children entitled to free school meals with additional financial support over the summer holidays. Families will receive £13.50 per week for each entitled child from 1st July to the 31st August.

“This payment will go some way to ensure that more than 100,000 of our children and young people have access to food during the summer months, especially at this time when many families are already struggling with the cost of living, soaring food prices, and a broken social security system.

“The fact that we have so many children and young people in poverty in Northern Ireland is a disgrace, and the previous Executive failed to deliver an Anti-Poverty Strategy in the last mandate. We want to see concerted efforts to alleviate poverty, and deal with holiday hunger in the long term. This means addressing in work poverty, insecure employment and low wages, and reforming our social security system.”