The Town Council unanimously passed a motion at the Full Council meeting formally supporting the campaign led by Marcus Rashford to end child food poverty. The motion calls on the Government to expand and increase the value of the Healthy Start Scheme, as well as, expand access to Free School Meals - providing meals and activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger.
Proposing the motion Cllr Richard Needham said: "Of course we welcome the actions of Calderdale Council in partnership with the local voluntary and private sectors to put in place provision to support children during school holidays- they are all to be congratulated.
The council will be writing to Calderdale MBC to thank them for their prompt response and will be sharing their views with the MP for the Calder Valley.
Cllr Needham continued: "We deplore the outcome of the parliamentary vote on 21st October 2020 defeating the Free School Meals motion, and we call on our MP, Craig Whittaker, to listen now to the children and people of his constituency, change his mind, and support any future motion on Free School Meals".
Former local Headteacher Cllr Rob Freeth added: "I fully support this statement and proposal from Hebden Royd Town Council. Many children, through no fault of their own, go hungry without access to free school meals during holidays. This has a long term negative impact on their wellbeing, health, learning and potential to succeed. As a society we must do all that can be done to make sure that no child goes hungry."
More than a million people have signed Marcus Rashford's petition calling for children from poor families in England to get free meals in school holidays. The petition can be found and signed here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/554276/
Added: Friday, 6 November 2020