Health Secretary Matt Hancock has conceded that questions remain over how England's poorest children are fed over the school holidays. This is despite recent reluctance from the Government to cave in to calls from footballer Marcus Rashford to provide free school meals over half-term.
Mr Hancock has said that "no child should go hungry", adding that the campaign led by Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford has personally inspired him.
Regardless of where you stand on the free school meals debate, it is an issue that has engulfed Westminster in recent weeks, with some now calling for Number 10 to make a dramatic U-turn.
Telegraph readers have had their say on the Government's decision and what they think the next steps should be.
'The Government should give way on this'
"The Government can't win and should give way on it, it's clear even with £68m, councils can't be trusted to get it to hungry children.
"That money should be withdrawn and another option explored, perhaps schools can co-operate on providing them and the money goes directly to them.
"What we can't have is hungry children, it is not their fault parents can't provide for them."
'Government should have better communication'
"It all does seem rather bizarre that this has escalated as it has. Perhaps if the government had communicated things better all this could have been avoided.
"These families and kids haven't been forgotten, the money has simply been handed to local authorities to look after them (including some providing FSMs).
"It just seems to be about how it is provided rather than whether it is or not. So it just all looks to be about show to be honest."
'It's not the child's fault'
"I think the Government has handled this terribly. Unfortunately there are some children who do come from deprived areas and low/no income families.
"It's not the child's fault, but that meal at lunch may be their only meal of the day. They are now facing weeks with parents who may have had a job, but have been made redundant because of Covid and, as a result, they may not eat this holiday."
'A PR disaster'
"This should never have happened. Is there someone in Downing Street that wants to cause trouble for Boris?
"It doesn't take a genius to understand the awful PR this has generated for the government. 'The nasty party led by a posh old Etonian who doesn't care about poor hungry children'. "
'The responsibility rests with parents'
"No doubt I will be criticised as being heartless, but surely the responsibility for feeding their children rests with the parents who chose to bring them into the world, in full knowledge of how much it costs to have a child?
"As always, a question of priorities, are the parents in possession of the latest Apple iPhone, have large colour televisions, smoke cigarettes, and so on?
"Feeding their children adequately should be the main priority for every parent, but if they have genuine hardship, a rigorous means test should be employed to target any aid to ensure it really is used to put food in children's mouths."
'What is the alternative to free school meals?'
"The Government has lost the argument for free school meals just like they did in the summer. And it is hardly surprising because their communication is so poor.
"They have not explained their alternative approach to this problem, whatever this is, so it is totally understandable they look out of touch.
"When a footballer can run rings around the Government then you know things aren't good which also explains why we are in such a mess with Covid."
"I agree with Rashford, children should not go hungry in this country. But providing free school meals is only addressing the symptoms and not the disease. The bigger question is why are there so many children being born into families who simply cannot afford to properly look after them. "
'An own goal from the Government'
"Whatever the rights or wrongs of providing school meal choices, the Conservative party has scored a massive own-goal and allowed Labour to seize the initiative.
"The Conservatives look totally out of touch (and I guess they are ). the fact that the Government are dealing with the virus on a number of fronts is completely forgotten and they have allowed Starmer to take the initiative.
"Who exactly is advising the Prime Minister? It was an obvious trap that they have walked straight into. The political naivety is staggering."
'Why doesn't Rashford put his hand into his own pocket?'
@J L Johnson:
"I've just heard Tobias Ellwood say on BBC Radio 4 that there is a 'wealth of support' behind this campaign. Is that true? I'm not sure.
"A wealth of support on Twitter isn't the same thing. I don't know if people like Ellwood understand how social media campaigns can organise themselves very quickly and dangerously.
"Do these Conservatives never think that they are helping to create a 'political disaster' by running to the media every five minutes to say that they don't want children to go hungry... who does?
"But there has to be a limit to spending! Good God why doesn't Rashford put his hand in his pocket?"
'A poor way of running society'
"A very rich footballer campaigning for some poorer people to pay for poor children's holiday food, seems a poor way of running society. There is no end to the hypocrisy of the champagne socialists."
'Free food isn't the answer'
"I don't think that people realise that those who need help to feed their children are those who are losing their jobs: many of the children on free school meals are those whose parents receive benefits, and their incomes will not change with this economic downturn.
"The food parcels were so generous during lockdown among our neighbours that people were giving food away, especially the healthier foodstuffs that their fussy kids wouldn't eat.
"Giving out free food isn't really the answer. There is so much spare food out there in various community projects, and very few takers. Food vouchers for people who've lost their jobs would be a great idea. For anyone else it's a silly idea."
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