Council leader urges struggling families to use council food hub

Posted On 23 Oct 2020 at 5:52 pm

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty has urged families struggling to put food on the table over half term to reach out to the city’s covid hub for help – but has stopped short of a pledge to cover the voucher scheme.

Green Councillor Mac Cafferty was responding to the campaign led by footballer Marcus Rashford MBE for free school meals vouchers to be made available to low income families over half term, as they were over the summer holidays.

This week, Conservative MPs voted against the proposal, and today a clutch of London boroughs said they would step in to fund it themselves.

A petition set up by former Labour councillor Caroline Penn has been signed by hundreds of people, and meanwhile several venues have pledged their own support.

Click here for a list of organisations and venues pledging help.

This afternoon, Councillor Mac Cafferty said help was available through the city’s existing covid help hub, as well as the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership and Chomp, a scheme already helping low-income families with food provision.

He said: “It is a disgrace that in 2020 and in the fifth richest country on the planet, child hunger exists.

“We are doing everything we can to help to provide essential supplies for families who are struggling to feed their children.

“The city council’s hub will be working throughout the half term from 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday of next week. This will be helping families needing emergency help with food, energy bills and other essentials.

“We are working with dedicated partners, especially the Food Partnership, to make food parcel deliveries to families, which is particularly needed given the constraints of the covid-19 pandemic on normal services.

“We can be deeply thankful to all those in our city, including fantastic community organisations, who are working year round to provide food to those in need. The council has provided funding to these services, including throughout the pandemic.

“If you need support, please get in touch with one of the teams. We are here to help if we can.”

Meanwhile, the Labour group called on the council to set up a fund to co-ordinate food vouchers.

In a letter to the Green administration, Councillor John Allcock, the Labour education spokesman, said: “We call upon the administration to provide emergency funding and to work with our well-established food partnership and stakeholders, head teachers and governors to set up a fund to co-ordinate the provision of food vouchers for all children who receive free schools meals throughout the autumn half term and Christmas holiday period.

“We are already being approached with offers of donations from individuals and organisations who want to help and it’s vital that this energy is harnessed.

“Please let me know how we can help and where we can direct offers of food and funding.”

  1. Jenny Mulligan Reply

    Well that’s the Green Tories for you.

  2. Catherine K Reply

    If families can’t afford food they shouldn’t have children to be fair. Also maybe move to a cheaper area like peacehaven hangleton or portslade. They are ways.

  3. Melee Reply

    Do you really, really, really believe that most parents give birth to children so that they can watch them suffer by not being able to provide enough food for them to eat????

    Of course there are ways to help oneself but the pandemic only arrived on our doorstep in March this year. Change does and can happen but it usually takes some time.

    If there are any heart transplant surgeons reading this woman’s heartless post, would you give her a heart transplant please and bill Boris for it? Cheers.

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