Howie P on 23 May 2021
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Q. How is your trust in government and the media?
I have just watched a webinar aimed at providers of activity for the summer holidays. I have realised that this will be the only way that struggling families will be able to get food help for their children (outside of going to a food bank). The FSM vouchers will not be available and food for children and young people will be available through holiday activities. As a potential provider we have realised that the suggested budgets will not cover costs and the provision in our county is only expected to reach a third of children who are entitled to FSM. There is a suggestion that food could be provided by charities and supermarkets as no doubt the budget will not cover the reality of what the food would cost. There is also a suggestion that these activities are to be delivered in more deprived areas so that it is accessible to all but that some of the runnings costs are covered by non FSM families paying £13.60 per session for 4 days per week. I feel as if families in poverty are not yet aware that there will be an enormous gap to fill in the holidays and that it will not be filled by the government. If there is no provision for activity near you you will not get access to the food support. In our county if you are low inome but not entitled to FSM you will be asked to pay £13.60 to access this food support. The language used is that of preventing dependency in poor families when the reality is that the government needs small voluntary organisations, charities, CIC's and small businesses to subsidise the food provision planned for the summer, in order to make it work. It looks on the surface like all is well as the £220 million sounds positive but the reality of getting food support to families in need over the summer is inadequate. No trust here from me!
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