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Source: City of Wakefield

​The Leader of Wakefield Council has today confirmed that the Council will be stepping in to ensure that food is provided for those children who are eligible for free school meals this Christmas.

Cllr Denise Jeffery has made the commitment to work with partners and existing networks so that the district’s most vulnerable children will get free meals over the festive school holidays after the Government chose not to provide any support.

​Cllr Jeffery said: “I will not allow children across our district to go hungry this Christmas. There are families out there who already struggling with the impact of this pandemic and the Government’s decision must have come as an even bigger blow.

“My Council and I will do everything we can to support families in our district and will now begin to look at the best way to ensure that food is available for those who need it over the Christmas holidays.

“We will continue to lobby Government to try and persuade them to do the right thing but in the meantime, we will not let our families down. We will step up where this Government haven’t.”

Wakefield Council hopes to work with the groups and organisations across the district who are already providing much needed support to vulnerable families. The scheme for the Christmas holiday period will be developed in partnership with these groups. 

​Cllr Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Communities and Poverty, said: “We are extremely disappointed that the government has chosen not to provide this most basic of support for children, at the most challenging of times.

“We want to work very closely with our partners, who already work tirelessly to support the most vulnerable families in our district, to see how we can pull together and fill any gaps to ensure every child gets the food they need this Christmas holiday.”

Wakefield Council’s Recovery Board is continuing with the work to look at how they can support families in future school holidays if the Government fails to intervene once again.

Cllr Cummings added: “Lots of councillors across the district are involved in helping distribute packed lunches for the coming October half term, so if anyone is concerned please contact your local ward councillor.”

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