Batley and Spen MP backs Marcus Rashford's plea calling for government u-turn over family food vouchers

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The Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin has backed football player Marcus Rashford’s plea for the Government to U-turn on cancelling food vouchers for children over the summer holidays.

The Batley and Spen MP Ms Brabin said Mr Rashford’s letter laid out “the harsh reality” facing millions of children across the country.

The Manchester United player's emotional two-page letter highlighted the situation faced by many vulnerable children who often go hungry.

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And in referencing his own experiences the 22-year-old said, blankly and bleakly, that politics should give way to humanity so that children could have food in their bellies.

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, right, and Marucs Rashford (Getty Images)Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, right, and Marucs Rashford (Getty Images)
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, right, and Marucs Rashford (Getty Images)

He has partnered with the food distribution charity FareShare to help cover some of the free school meal deficit.

In his letter he wrote: “Political affiliations aside, can we not all agree that no child should be going to bed hungry?”

He added: “The government has taken a ‘whatever it takes’ approach to the economy – I’m asking you today to extend that same thinking to protecting all vulnerable children across England.

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“I encourage you to hear their pleas and find your humanity.

“Please reconsider your decision to cancel the food voucher scheme over the summer holiday period and guarantee the extension.”

The letter struck a chord with MPs in Kirklees.

Tracy Brabin said Mr Rashford’s “powerful” letter laid out the harsh reality facing thousands of children in her constituency, and 1.3 million across the country.

She said: “Free school meals are a lifeline for children whose families are in in-work poverty, working long hours at minimum wage.

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“During the Covid-19 crisis, so many have seen these jobs disappear and have struggled to support their families.

“With the summer holidays only weeks away, it’s time for the Government to step up and promise it will keep the food voucher scheme in place during the six-week break.

“Cancelling it, as they currently plan to do, will see millions of children go hungry, drop further behind in their learning and will have a detrimental impact on their physical and mental health.

Marcus Rashford and FareShare have done incredible work since March delivering more than 30 million meals to the most vulnerable children around the UK.

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“Here in Batley and Spen brilliant local charities have also stepped up to ensure those impoverished children don’t go hungry.

“The Government must now do the same.”

Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood did not respond to a request to comment.

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