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Marcus Rashford welcomes Wales’ extra free school meals

Marcus Rashford welcomes Wales' extra free school meals thumbnail

Publishedduration4 hours agoimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionMarcus Rashford was awarded an MBE for his campaign to get free school meals extended through the summer holiday in EnglandFree school meals will be provided for children during all school holidays in Wales until spring 2021, it has been announced.Education Minister Kirsty Williams said £11m would pay for the…

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image copyrightGetty Images

image captionMarcus Rashford was awarded an MBE for his campaign to get free school meals extended through the summer holiday in England

Free school meals will be provided for children during all school holidays in Wales until spring 2021, it has been announced.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said £11m would pay for the scheme up to and including Easter 2021.

England footballer Marcus Rashford, who successfully campaigned on the issue in England, welcomed the plan.

The Manchester United star said the plan would protect “the most vulnerable children across the country”.

More than 75,000 pupils aged between five and 15 from lower-income homes are eligible for free school meals across Wales.

It is also open to younger children who attend nursery for full days and sixth form pupils.

Ms Williams said she hoped it would provide “some reassurance in these times of uncertainty”.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionChildren will now get free school meals during every holiday until after Easter 2021

Rashford, 22, was recently awarded an MBE after campaigning for the UK government to allow about 1.3 million children to claim free school meal vouchers in England’s summer holidays during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Having this framework in place for the foreseeable future will have a significantly positive impact on children who are struggling to engage in learning due to anxiety and fear, not to mention the noise of their rumbling stomachs,” he said.

“No child in 2020 should be sat in a classroom worried about how they are going to access food during the holidays, and the impact that will have on their parents when matched with unemployment, ill health and, in some cases, personal loss.”

He said there was still more work to be done to protect the next generation, but welcomed the “swift response to this urgent need”.

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