“ I am completely saddened that we are here talking about free school meals as if it is a luxury”.

Have you ever gone hungry?

So hungry that it hurts?

Have you ever had “sugar sandwiches” because there was nothing else to eat?

Had to put Government juice (tap water) on your morning cereal because your parent scant afford milk as a child?

Have you ever gone without dinner so your children can eat?

Have you ever told your sons that you had eaten earlier so that they would not feel guilty about eating the chicken pie?

Have you ever watched your mum, trying to hold it together, counting out coppers so that she can go and buy some cheap mince from the butchers for that night’s dinner?

Have you, as a parent, cried yourself to sleep because you honest to god don’t know where tomorrows dinner will come from?

I have. In my life I have experienced all the above. Poverty knows me well. Not now, not the life I live now. But for many years’ poverty has been a part of my life so much so that I didn’t know what life without poverty would even look like.

My sons were born into poverty. My oldest son was born on the bathroom floor of a council flat to an underage mother.

I have been on benefits at stages of my life. Times when I had no choice. Times when I was on my knees. And there were lots of people along the way to let me know that where I belonged. On the floor claiming benefits.

My sons had free school meals on and off through their school life. Sometimes we were up. Sometimes we were down. Its how life goes. I was still a mum raising her children. But circumstance meant that sometimes  I needed support.

During the pandemic one thing that has come to me almost daily was, what if I had not left London and I still lived in that little flat , Me and the kids. No garden. Not safe to open the windows all night. How would we have felt locked up in the 2 bedrooms flat for months. It would have been extremely stressful.

The other thought that has crossed my mind more than once was…what if I was not blessed to have the job I do. What if I had been struggling through this pandemic and now I had to find an extra meal for my children on an already too tight budget

And until you have ever lived that life as either a child or adult don’t bother to comment on this post. Because you have no idea.

And of all the rubbish ideas this government has had in 2020 they think that not to give families  FSM vouchers during half term is OK

Because it seems that those in power are idiots and are happy to turn a blind eye whilst family struggle ….and I ask my staple question…. Is it good enough for your children?

And so, during the summer holidays, the mighty Marcus Rushford stepped forward and said no more. He said what millions of people were thinking… how could the government just leave families to struggle in the middle of a pandemic.

But he is not the only one. Hundreds of companies and individuals have stepped up this week and said…nope…no child is going hungry on our watch. And have stated that they will provide food during half term for those that need it most.

Sheffield City council will be providing FSM vouchers to all the families that are entitled and Leader Julie Dore, said: “…it is clear after what happened this week that the government are willing to stand by and do nothing, as a council we are not.”

The beyond epic labour MP, Taiwo Owatemi, stood up in parliament and spoke for millions of people when she stood up and said from her chest…

“ I am completely  saddened that we are here talking about free school meals as if it is a luxury”.

If you want a goose bump moment.. watch the clip HERE of Taiwo speaking the truth for the people of this country.

The school that I work in has decided to stick two fingers up at the government.

My boss does not always make the right decisions on everything. He has to make choices based on many different angels. We don’t agree on everything.

He called me yesterday and said, “We are giving the families the FSM vouchers over half term” and then nervously laughed I just sat  with my mouth open for a second.

But I was not shocked.

I was proud.

Because he could have got in trouble. Big trouble. And he knew that. And then he said into the silence “in any given circumstances, do the right thing”.

And so, he did. He pressed the button and made sure that all the students that receive free school meals will receive them over half term.

His name is Matt Tate. He is a bit crazy. But then…. aint all the best people . He might have to find a new job. Well….not this time…but if he has to keep going against the government for children then he might.

And I will happily go out with him in a blaze of glory

So please sign the Petition End child food poverty – no child should be going hungry HERE

Please promote and share all the hundreds of pubs, restaurants, cafes & individuals around the country who are rallying to support children this half term.

And please feel free to share any posts here of those who are always saying…..NO MORE

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