Sefton Council, local charities and Southport businesses are being praised for rallying around after the government refused to extend free school meals to hardpressed local families this week.
Despite strong appeals from Manchester United footballer and child food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford, the government voted down the Labour Party motion to give extra free meals support to families during the current crisis by extending it over the holiday periods until next Easter.
Southport’s Conservative MP Damien Moore, who has been strongly criticised for voting to reduce free school meals in the past, once again refused to support the much-needed help this time by abstaining.
Just minutes before, he also voted against giving 80% furlough support to local workers and businesses affected by Tier 3 restrictions – leaving them with just two-thirds of wages under government plans.
Local Labour volunteers reached for the Weetabix and much more this week to help Southport Foodbank relocate their huge warehousing operation.
The foodbank is moving to a new main hub after six years spent at Lakeside Church near Marine Lake since opening its doors back in 2014.
A scaled-down service for clients needing emergency food parcels will still operate from there but the main centre and warehousing operation will now be based at St Peter’s Church near Birkdale Village until a more permanent venue can be found.
Sixteen Labour volunteers including Cllrs Greg Myers and Sean Halsall, local election candidates Sean Flynn, Sonya Kelly and Steve Jowett, along with Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate Emily Spurrell, assisted a handful of foodbank staff to tackle the task after an appeal for help.
Councillor Greg Myers put out the call to local Labour members after hearing that the centre needed volunteers for the move, he explained:
A Southport woman has praised her Labour councillor and the local authority after she says they came to her rescue and helped save her business.
Jennifer Butler Scholes owns local companies Empowered Bumps and The Hart Space which offer classes and support to expectant and new parents but like many firms had been forced to close doors due to the Covid crisis.