OXFORD City Council has reminded people that it provides food vouchers for vulnerable children in the city in a bid to ensure no child goes hungry during half term.

Families in hardship, particularly those with children receiving free school meals, will be able to receive food vouchers of up to £15 per child for the week. 

The reminder comes after Tory MPs voted down footballer Marcus Rashford's bid to provide food vouchers to vulnerable children over school holidays. 

Read also: These are the places offering free school meals around Oxfordshire 

The Labour-led city council has also provided more than £60,000 of funding to community groups and charities to provide food to struggling families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Food banks and larders are operating across the city - including in Barton, Blackbird Leys, Cowley, and Rose Hill - to help provide food to families during half term and beyond.

The council will provide the food vouchers to families in Oxford who cannot access food banks or larders or are in particular or urgent need.

If you are struggling to feed your children during half term, you can contact the city council by calling 01865 249811.

Read here: Labour leaders say Government has 'failed' by not providing free school meals 

The vouchers will be available during half term (Monday October 26 to Friday October 30).

There are almost 3,000 children in Oxford who qualify for Free School Meals. 

For 3,000 children, the city council estimates the costs of providing this provision to be somewhere in the region of £45,000.

Councillor Marie Tidball, cabinet member for supporting local communities, said: “The brinksmanship of the Conservative government in stubbornly refusing to support the extension of free school meals over half-term and Christmas is creating fear and anxiety amongst children and families who receive them - almost 3000 children in Oxford alone. 

"This comes at a time when people are already facing a huge amount of stress and uncertainty during the pandemic, as well as increasing poverty and inequality.

"Oxford City Council has said that no child should go hungry this half-term. Families in hardship, particularly those with children receiving Free School Meals, will be able to receive food vouchers of up to £15 per child for the week during half-term.

"What we really need now is leadership from government to ensure that no child in our country goes hungry this winter.”

Read also: Oxfordshire MPs respond to free school meal vote