Hull pupils miss out on 'vital' holiday food funding in 'disappointing' blow

Karl Turner has called for Hull's inclusion in a GBP9m government scheme to support school pupils over the summer holidays after the city missed out. The Hull East MP wrote to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson after Hull was not chosen for the Holiday Activities and Food programme. Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield were among the cities allocated a share of the funding which is set to support around 50,000 children across England through the summer.

Mr Turner said it was "incredibly disappointing" that Hull would not receive a share of the "vital" funding given it is one of the most deprived areas in the country. Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said meeting the needs of disadvantaged children was more important than ever. The Hull East MP wrote the city's children did not deserve to be left out of the scheme.

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Mr Turner wrote: " Hull City Council has gone above and beyond to provide for children during this pandemic, but opportunities such as these cannot be replicated without central government funding.

"Hull is the fourth most deprived local authority in England, with 15 of its 21 wards among the most deprived 20 per cent nationally.

Current Labour MP for Hull East Karl Turner

"According to End Child Poverty, more than a third of children and young people live in income deprived households in Hull. "Although it is a positive step to see that other cities will benefit from this scheme I am incredibly disappointed and concerned not to see Hull on the list. Mr Turner's letter comes after the government announced 10 local providers had successfully bid for a share of its GBP9m fund.

Hull pupils miss out on 'vital' holiday food funding in 'disappointing' blow Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to play Tap to playThe video will start in8Cancel

A total of 17 local authority areas are set to benefit from the funding which will go towards healthy meals for children and activities such as dance, yoga and outdoor adventure play.

The Children and Families Minister said: " It is more important than ever before to make sure the needs of the most disadvantaged are at the heart of everything we do.

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"We cannot afford for any of our children to lose out of their education as a result of Covid-19. "Just last week we announced the Covid Summer Food Fund, and a GBP1 billion Covid catch up fund so that no child is left behind. "On top of this, we are rolling out the GBP9m Holiday Activities and Food programme in England, ensuring that thousands of children will be able to benefit from free nutritious food and enriching activities during the summer period."

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Mr Turner's letter follows a recent government u-turn on funding for free school meals vouchers over the summer after a campaign from Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

Around 1.3 million children nationally are eligible for the scheme which is separate from the Holiday Activities and Food programme.

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