Cllr Sue Woodward

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A Burntwood councillor has warned that a u-turn on free school meals over the summer will not mean an end to so-called holiday hunger.

Boris Johnson confirmed the scheme would continue during the six-week holidays after a campaign by England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

But Cllr Sue Woodward said the impact of holiday hunger will affect more than just those currently eligible for free school meals.

She is now calling for funding to be passed on to response organisations such as Burntwood Be A Friend to allow them to continue supporting local families in need.

“Marcus Rashford did an amazing job in getting the Government to change its mind on free school meals this summer.

“But at Burntwood Be A Friend we have been planning ahead and we believe that around 500 families at least will find themselves in need of food and basic essentials over the summer and beyond.

“There will be many, many more across the county as a whole, including single adult households or those without children, who find themselves in need of support.

“We don’t want anyone suffering from holiday hunger over the summer.”

Cllr Sue Woodward

“Community groups are best placed to use this money”

Cllr Woodward, who serves on Staffordshire County Council and is also leader of Burntwood Town Council said the region’s share of the £63million Government funding pot could make a real difference to local groups.

“It won’t be a huge amount of funding to each council, but I’ve already opened discussions on this with senior members and officers at the county council.

“I want the council to devolve its share of the £63million pot announced last week to local community groups as I believe they are best placed to use this money effectively.

“We know our communities and the levels of ongoing and growing need among our residents.

“Having received relatively positive responses so far, I hope that I can add weight to this via the e-petition that has been launched.”

Cllr Sue Woodward

The petition calls on the leadership at Staffordshire County Council to fund community groups to prevent holiday hunger.

“The response by community groups over the past three months has been amazing.

“They have shown themselves able to respond speedily and flexibly to local needs.

“I am hopeful that the leadership of the county council really do understand this too but every signature on this position will add weight to this call.”

Cllr Sue Woodward

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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