A software and app development agency has created a UK-wide platform to ensure children don’t go hungry this half term following the Government’s decision to halt its free school meals extension.
Manchester-based Silverchip brought its team together to volunteer to work through the night on Friday (23rd October) to create https://www.schoolmealfinder.org/. The platform enables organisations across the UK to register their support, providing families the ability to access a directory of businesses, services and organisations offering meals via their postcode.
Jamie McMullan, COO at Silverchip comments:
“Marcus Rashford’s continued campaign for free school meal extension through the holidays has inspired the nation. The Government’s vote against supporting it last week inspired local businesses and communities to come together and volunteer to solve the problem themselves. We saw thousands of organisations signpost their support on Friday, but without a coordinated effort to show the people who need it how to access support, we knew we had to do something.
“Our team worked through the night to get the school meal finder up and running in just nine hours and we’ve already had more than 1,500 organisations upload their free meal services in the directory and it continues to grow by the hour.”
Silverchip which formed ten years ago hopes to get thousands more organisations offering its services on the platform to feed the millions of children expected to go hungry whilst ministers continue to argue it will not extend its free school meals provision.
In England, approximately 1.3 million children claimed for free school meals in 2019 – about 15% of state-educated pupils.
Analysis by the Food Foundation estimates a further 900,000 children in England may have sought free school meals since the start of the pandemic.