We’re extremely proud to be able to report that the British Dental Association (BDA) has joined forces with several leading food charities and education unions across the UK to put pressure on the government into providing a “coherent response” to the call to provide free meals to many children who need them this winter.

The campaign has been famously superheaded by Manchester United player Marcus Rashford, and it focuses on the expansion of the free school meals programme to provide meals not just during term time, but during the school holidays, too.

This is a particularly pertinent time to readdress the programme, as the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules and regulations mean that schools closures may happen again, and people have voiced concerns that the provision of school meals should not be considered in relation to whether children are physically in school or at home.

The campaign follows a government u-turn in the summer, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to provide free meals for eligible children over the six-week summer holidays, and Rashford’s campaign is widely credited as the key reason for the government considering extending the programme to continue to provide meals during other school holidays.

And now the BDA are backing Rashford and calling on Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary, to step up and guarantee that children throughout the UK have proper meals provided for them over the Christmas and Easter holidays, too.

The BDA urges Williamson to “commit to funding benefits-related free school meals during the Christmas holiday period and through to Easter 2021,” and will continue to offer its support to such a worthy cause.

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