Thank you for contacting me about school holiday hunger.
No child should have to go hungry and it is important to ensure every child, regardless of their background, has the very best start in life.
I welcome the fact that the Department for Education will be conducting research into how best to ensure that more children from disadvantaged families benefit from healthy meals and enrichment activities during the school holidays. This will include running targeted pilot programmes and engaging with interested organisations, and will enable ministers to assess the impact of Government intervention.
More broadly, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission recommended a number of measures to help children. One major means of addressing Child poverty is by helping the parents find good jobs. This is why I welcome the record rates of employment the country currently enjoys and the personalised financial and other support (including assistance on in-work progression) being provided under the currently being rolled-out Universal Credit. Other measures to help parents include the doubling of free childcare hours and the increased personal allowance which has lifted millions of the lowest paid out of income tax altogether. It is also the case that since its introduction the National Living Wage has delivered a £2,000 pay rise for the lowest paid.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.