World News – GB – Petition for government support for free school meals nears one million


England footballer Marcus Rashford praised local communities for stepping in to provide free meals to children during school holidays, as hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions in support of the government paying meals and against the use of public money to subsidize MPs’ food and drink

Boards, including conservative-led bodies, have announced interim measures mid-term, and at least 750 restaurants and other food companies have rallied to support the viral campaign against child hunger

Local authorities who pledged their help included the Tory-controlled Hillingdon Council in Boris Johnson’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency

A petition against the use of public funds to finance the food expenses of the deputies had received 740,000 signatures on Saturday evening

And Rashford Government’s Petition Receives Over 750,000 Leader-turned anti-waste activist Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall urged people to sign so the number of names exceeds one million

Councils, tearooms, churches, farms and take out all offered publicly to help provide food for children during midterm Rashford, 22, said he was « really overwhelmed » by the support his campaign has received

MPs this week voted against extending the free school meals program during the Christmas holidays, causing an outcry among much of the public Ministers say they have given councils £ 63million for families facing to financial hardship caused by the pandemic restrictions

Petition against public money for MPs ‘meals calls for « an end to the practice of paying MPs’ expenses for food and drink », and for parliamentary establishments to sell food and drink « At market prices »

Under current rules, MPs can claim food and non-alcoholic drinks when staying outside London and their constituency, with a maximum limit of £ 25 per night

Food services in the House of Commons are not directly subsidized, but run at a loss in total, with figures showing they cost the Commons £ 26m in fiscal year 2018-2019

Portia Lawrie said she started the petition because she was « so angry that some MPs rejected the possibility in parliament and Marcus Rashford’s campaign to extend free school meals during school holidays »

She added: « I wanted to point out the clear hypocrisy between this and the food and drink that the public subsidizes for MPs while denying support to those who need it most. »

A House of Commons spokesperson told The Independent: « The House of Commons catering service does not provide a subsidized service in the commercial sense of the word, and we are continually looking to cut costs »

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MPs cannot claim reimbursement for the cost of food or drink and do not have a food allowance, a spokesperson for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) told The Independent

Two Tory MPs sparked anger with comments on the search for free meals North Devon MP Selaine Saxby posted on Facebook: ‘I’m delighted that our local businesses have rebounded so much after the lockdown that they are able to donate food for free, and I sincerely hope that they will no longer seek government support »

And Ben Bradley also said that a tweet he sent, which led to claims he stigmatized working-class families, was « totally taken out of context »

One Twitter user described the free school lunch program as ‘£ 20 in cash straight to a crack burrow and brothel’, to which M Bradley replied: « This is what the good WSFs [free school meals] have actually done over the summer » The MP for Mansfield later claimed he was trying to say what to give to children who live in situations  » chaotic « a » unrestricted voucher to spend on anything that isn’t useful « 

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Petition, School meals

News from around the world – UK – Petition for government support for free school meals is approaching one million



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