This week was our last week in the Senedd chamber until September.
It was a busy week, and fiery at times, mainly as I and my fellow members from Plaid Cymru tried to get answers from the Government on a number of important issues before the recess began.
One of those issues was food over the school holidays for children and young people who are eligible to receive free school meals. Over the past few years, the Welsh Government has provided food for the children and young people but unfortunately, there is no provision this summer. Although some of the plans they will run - such as the Food and Fun program ('Food and Fun’ School Holiday Enrichment Programme - WLGA) – is expected to reach around 30,000 children - and another programme should reach around 10,000 children - there will be a huge gap, as around 92,000 pupils between the ages of 5 and 15 are eligible for free school meals. This is a gap of 52,000 pupils who are therefore at risk of going hungry this summer .
A number of local food banks and charities are extremely concerned, as the Government has not communicated this to them or implemented a plan in terms of how to ensure that food is available, and also that families know how to access it. I will continue to seek clarification as soon as possible.
I am extremely proud that Plaid Cymru, through the Cooperation Agreement, has succeeded in securing free school lunches for all primary-age children during term time, especially after the Labour Party repeatedly voted to reject this. They must now prioritise extending this to all school holidays and also to secondary schools.
So, even though the Senedd is not sitting, there is plenty of work to be done over the coming weeks and months. I am looking forward to visiting many local community projects and groups, along with national organisations. I will also have some time off with my family, but members of my team will remain available during that time to help anyone who needs support.
If there is a project you would like me to visit with, or if you want help, please get in touch by emailing [email protected] or calling 01443 853214