Don’t be disheartened by the inhumanity of the Conservatives, you can take action
The Tory party has once again proved themselves heartless ghouls by refusing to give poor children food over the winter period. On October 21, the party blocked plans to extend free school meals to children over the holidays, at a time when many people in this country have been pushed right to the brink due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the campaigning of Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, MPs voted against the plan to provide children with meals (absolutely insane) by 322 votes to 261, which would have extended the provision for hot food for children until Easter 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson whipped Tory MPs to vote against the motion, claiming that it is not the responsibility for schools to “regularly provide food during the school holidays”.
Posting to his 3.5 million Twitter followers on Wednesday, Rashford said: “I don’t have the education of a politician, many on Twitter have made that clear today, but I have a social education having lived through this and having spent time with the families and children most affected. These children matter.”
These children do matter. Don’t be disheartened by the cruelty of the Conservatives, there are ways in which you can help:
DONATE TO FOOD BANKS
If you are in a position to, donating to your local food bank could really help vulnerable people. There are several ways to donate, as listed on the website for the Trussell Trust, a charity with the aim of ending hunger and poverty in the UK. It lists several ways to help; you can donate directly to your local food bank using the postcode search; you can leave supplies at collection points at supermarkets across the country; or you can reach out to your local community and host your own collection point at a school, a church, or a community centre. Remember it’s not just food that’s useful, toiletries and hygiene products can help people in crisis to maintain dignity and feel human again.
Inspired by online activism and the work of @MarcusRashford, we have set up a paypal pool for anonymous donations of any size to raise money for a Youth food bank in Merseyside and a second in London ran by Muslim volunteers that provides for everyone: https://t.co/8hM3CJ6nIHpic.twitter.com/rL0JUSdlNT— The White Pube (@thewhitepube) October 23, 2020
STOP THE USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS TOWARDS MPs’ MEALS
MPs have refused to feed the children of the UK, yet they are taking public money to fund their own food in Parliament. There’s a viral petition doing the rounds that proposes to withdraw these funds. “No Public Money for MPs’ Meals” aims to level the playing field by demanding an end “to the practice of paying expenses to MPs for food and drink”. The petition states that MPs should “under no circumstances benefit from free or subsidised meals out of public funds themselves. If the public purse cannot afford to feed the poorest in our society, why are we feeding those least in need?”
At the time of writing, the petition has gathered 273,753 out of 300,000 signatures. Lend your support here to help it reach the target.
SHARE LINKS AND RESOURCES
It’s easy to feel that you’re simply posting into the void when sharing charitable causes on social media, but by posting useful links and resources you truly can make a difference by encouraging others to take action, and ultimately increasing the chances of donations to the right places. As always, it’s important to do a little research and make sure what you’re sharing is legit. The Trussell Trust on Instagram and Twitter is a good place to start – it regularly shares useful information about how you can take action and where to donate all across the country.
SHARE LOCATIONS OFFERING FREE MEALS
Cafes and restaurants across the country have stepped in to offer free school meals in support of Marcus Rashford’s campaign. “We’re behind Marcus Rasshford”, Baker’s cafe in Bolton said on social media as they offered free lunches throughout the half term. They added: “No parent should ever struggle to feed their children.” Pearson’s Bar in Hull has also got behind the cause, offering to provide children with pack lunches. They told The Independent: “The Government’s decision not to offer free school meals during holidays at a time like this is quite frankly heart-breaking.”
Rashford has been retweeting the locations of several cafes and restaurants who’re joining in. Watch his feed for updates and share on any spots local to you.