P-05-1140 Revise the guidance for Free School Meals, removing the option for delivery of food parcels
This petition was submitted by Sarah Rees, having collected a total of 205 signatures.
Text of Petition:
Awful images of English food parcels have been circulated, resulting in Westminster committing to provide vouchers for all. In Wales there are still 3 Councils handing out food parcels. Families have shared images of parcels where there is little choice, not meeting dietary requirements and reports of mouldy fresh produce. Some parents are missing deliveries due to work, leaving children hungry.
I know the stigma of FSM, it's time to empower families to choose what their children eat.
The guidance that best supports families is to commit to BACS payments as default, with the provision of vouchers where requested.
The Bevan Foundation recommends all local authorities should provide cash payments to avoid problems with the quality and quantity of food in food parcels as well as stigma.
The Child Poverty Action Group outline why cash first:
* Cash gives people dignity by removing the stigma that often comes with using in-kind support or vouchers
* Cash payments provide choice and control by enabling families to use support in a way that works best for them, enabling them to meet the multiple needs that they have.
* Cash is the preferred option for most low-income families.
* Cash removes the complex or expensive arrangements with suppliers of in-kind support.
* Cash payments allow families better value for money
* Boost to the local economy as more likely spent with local, independent retailers, rather than supermarkets.
The Committee noted that whilst the petition raised an important issue, children have returned to school since April 2021. Members therefore agreed to write to the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, asking that he note the issues raised in the petition as part of the review currently being conducted into the eligibility criteria of free school meals. In doing so the Committee agreed to close the petition and thank the petitioner.
Full details of the consideration of this petition by the Committee and related documents can be seen on the Meetings tab above.
It was first considered by the Petitions Committee on 16/03/2021.
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Business type: Petition
Reason considered: Senedd Business;
Status: For consideration
First published: 02/03/2021