Coronavirus: Councillors tucking into free lunches need to help poor kids get hot meal – Hayley Matthews

As schools close because of the coronavirus outbreak, some children may not get enough food, writes Hayley Matthews.
A school dinner is a vital source of food for the poorest children (Picture: PA)A school dinner is a vital source of food for the poorest children (Picture: PA)
A school dinner is a vital source of food for the poorest children (Picture: PA)

With many kids being out of school over the next few weeks, possibly months, there will be those who go without a daily meal. It is very hard to imagine how in 2020 parents are unable to feed their children. However, I’m not here to judge but to offer a solution because it is a real problem and children don’t choose the situation into which they’re born in, do they?

For the Edinburgh councillors who all voted for a free lunch totalling a tasty £18k – I urge you to offer some immediate help for the children and youngsters who will be going without. Make it easy for families to access some emergency supplies to feed their kids whilst they deal with the news of job losses and hardship due to the onslaught of uncertain economic times and the coronavirus.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I’ve already spoken to three people today who have told me their friends and family have all been laid off and are worried about how they are going to feed their families – this is serious and a real worry and concern. There are also kids who are already living in very bad situations as their parents sadly are not taking the best care of them and school is a place of safety where a hot meal is served and nurturing adults are about. My heart breaks to think about these poor children and what they are going through. When I worked at STV on its appeal the stories I read were horrific. Kids so hungry they were eating toilet roll – an image that will never leave me.

So to those greedy councillors, I hope you all read this and take heed of my concern and suggestion and don’t just ignore it whilst you sit munching on your smoked salmon and cream cheese wraps in the City Chambers.

Read More
Free lunches worth £18,000 for Edinburgh councillors back on the table after pla...

I’m lucky that I work from home so I can be there for my pals

Just like many parents, I was expecting the news that the schools were about to shut for the foreseeable future so it was no surprise.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The atmosphere at the school gates was very gloomy on the day of the announcement, with many parents trying to get their heads around what it meant for them.

As the news broke, I collected some reactions for BBC Scotland and recorded a video diary of our experience on the situation, and as you can probably guess, my eight-year-old is absolutely delighted that the schools are closed. In fact, he has been so pleased that he wrote a little bit about it and wants to keep a journal over the next few months.

He says, and I quote: “I think kids staying off school is affecting kids and parents both in very different ways. Some kids are so happy like me but I think the parents, including my mum, are not happy because when the kids go to school the parents get time to themselves to maybe go for a coffee and get away from the screaming kids or a couple of hours.”

I did try to explain that the issue is not so much that we can’t go for coffee and get some time to ourselves, it’s because many parents work and if the schools are closed then we can’t go to work. I am hugely grateful that we’re in a situation where my partner is now working from home and I do the majority of my work from home too.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I appreciate not everyone is in this situation so I’ve told my very good friends with kids who have been there for me that in this time of need – I’m here for them! That’s what it’s all about – us mums sticking together.