£8m cash injection for South London boroughs to feed hungry children over the winter

By Rafi Mauro-Benady and Jessie Mathewson, Local Democracy Reporter

Nine boroughs south of the Thames are getting an £8m cash injection to feed hungry kids over the winter.

Almost half of the boroughs will see more than one million pounds each paid to them.

Croydon will receive the most, with a total of £1,206,805.

In 2018/19 the borough had 38 per cent of children living in poverty, according to independent charity Trust for London (TfL).

This is closely followed by Lambeth, which is due an injection of £1,118,445.

In 2018/19, TfL reported 43 per cent of Lambeth’s children were living in poverty after housing costs.

Southwark, has been promised £1,111,658, although it had 44 per cent of its kids living in poverty once household bills had been paid.

Cllr Jasmine Ali, deputy leader of Southwark council, and cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “It has never been acceptable for children to go hungry, not in history, not anywhere in the world, but it is particularly disgraceful in an affluent and peaceful country like the UK where this shouldn’t still be happening.

“I am pleased the Government has made a rapid U-turn on this matter and supported the council in our plans to ensure children are fed over winter.

“But I am disappointed that it took a high-profile young sportsman to, so passionately, speak the truth about his own experience of going without food for the Government to wake up and realise that poverty is still a very real problem for so many families.”

She was speaking about the campaign by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, who forced the Government’s hand.

Lewisham came next – it too has been promised more £1million. It will receive £1,082,508.

Cllr Chris Barnham, cabinet member for children’s services and school performance, welcomed the extra cash.

He said: “Along with Marcus Rashford and many other councils, we have been calling on the Government to help provide free school meals to ensure children do not go hungry – in Lewisham 12,479 children rely on this.

“During half-term, Lewisham supported local schools to provide free meals for children who needed them, but we should not have been put in that position.

“We welcome the fact that the Government has finally provided funding for free school meals to support families in need.”

Greenwich, is in line for £967,679. This is closely followed by Wandsworth, which will see £836,207 pumped into it.

Bromley will get £753,861, and Bexley £619,722. Merton will get the smallest injection of £476,193.

Boris Johnson has now promised more than £27million to London’s 32 boroughs.

Pictured top: Croydon Town Hall




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