‘Please remember the five year old pupil who shared half a sandwich with his sister for lunch everyday due to poverty.’

Yesterday MP’s rejected the plan to extend free school meals during the holiday period.

A teacher who lives in Havering, today writes in the Havering Daily her response.

As a teacher and all the other teachers out there across the country, we are all shaking our heads in utter disbelief at how a group of people that in theory are representing the country, could refuse to give children the ability to eat during the holidays. Yes, you did read that correctly, the ability to eat. Not the ability to play games, or watch television but actually eat.

I do not know Marcus Rashford personally or watch football to be familiar with him. However, anyone who chooses to support children during these times is definitely worth a mention.

Teaching in a school gives us first-hand experience on how children are. We can see for ourselves just how many are in need and let me tell you there are many.

I can quite assure you that there is not one teacher out there across the country teaching in a state school that has not bought food for their pupils. Yes, we actually do and no this is not a piece written during Victorian England this is now 2020.

Many children come to school without eating breakfast. Many come to school without coats. Not because their parents chose to not feed them or provide clothes for them, but because they cannot afford to.

Let me tell you about one pupil who would come to school with half a sandwich for lunch. He was at the time five years old. One day I asked him where the other half of his sandwich went and he said he shared it with his sister, two years old than him. That was their lunch, half a sandwich each. Please read that line again and note this is reality.

This can be mirrored right across the country. Our headteacher would often keep the school open when it snowed, not because he wanted to make us come out in the cold, but because he knew that his pupils would have to be at home with no heating and no food.

I have shared my food with my pupils for so many years that I have lost count now. I have bought food for so many pupils.

Marcus Rashford was giving the ability for children to eat and yet this was knocked back by those that clearly do not know the level of poverty there is.

Please remember the five year old pupil who shared his half a sandwich with his sister for lunch.

Marcus Rashford, thank you. You clearly care.

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