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.
The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission recommended a number of measures to help children. Child poverty is best addressed by helping the parents find good jobs. That is why the Government continues to roll out the Universal Credit system, which provides personalised financial and other support for parents while helping them to find and stay in work. Other measures to help parents include the doubling of free childcare hours and the raised personal allowance which has lifted millions of the lowest paid out of income tax altogether.
I am proud of the measures which have been introduced to ensure children are offered nutritious meals to help improve their health and development. Universal infant free school meals are an excellent way of ensuring children receive a nutritious meal during the day. This not only boosts educational achievement, especially for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, but also saves hard-working families hundreds of pounds a year. Many children from disadvantaged backgrounds are entitled to receive free school meals throughout their full time education.
I also welcome the announcement that £10 million a year of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy will be used to expand breakfast club provision in up to 1,600 schools and encourage healthy eating among children.
I understand colleagues are considering the findings of the Hungry Holidays report.