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10,085 Children Helped by Free School Meal Vouchers Issued by MK Council Over Half Term

Milton Keynes Council secured funding to issue 8,858 supermarket e-vouchers worth £151,275 as part of their MK COVID Holiday Help Scheme over the October half term.

Labour Councillor Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “It is at the heart of the Progressive Alliance to tackle child poverty and support our children and young people; I’m so pleased these vouchers were able to help us do that over the half term.”

The vouchers were £15 per eligible child, and at least 131 schools and nurseries issued them over the half term. The Council had previously secured funding for free school meal vouchers over the summer holidays, alongside their 30,000 Summer of Play sessions.

The Progressive Alliance has been working with partners on other initiatives to help tackle child poverty, including:

Working to open over 10 community food larders in partnership with SOFEA, Community Fridge and Foodbank Xtra.

Launching a school uniform recycling scheme, where uniforms can be bought at a reduced cost.

Piloting a childcare deposit scheme to support parents and carers who want to work, but struggle with upfront childcare costs.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Jane Carr, Cabinet Member for Tackling Inequality and Child Poverty, said: “Last year, the Child Poverty Commission found almost 23,000 children were living in poverty in Milton Keynes. This a heart-breaking number, and the Progressive Alliance has been working tirelessly to reduce it.”

“Tackling child poverty should be the priority of our MPs, and we’re calling on them to fight for a long-term solution to holiday hunger, and to fight for the heartless £20 cut to Universal Credit to be delayed.”

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