Northumberland’s Labour Group is calling for a cross party working group to look at child hunger, holiday hunger and free school meals.
In Northumberland the number of children receiving free school meals has risen by 18 per cent, rising from 7,473 in March to 8,818 in October.
Labour Group leader Susan Dungworth said: “The vote on providing free school meals vouchers during holidays has shone a light on how close to the edge many families are living, especially since the start of the pandemic, although even before Cocid-19 there were well over 7,000 children receiving free school meals out of just under 54,000 living in the county.
“In a rich country like ours no child should be going hungry. Something is not working for these children and families living here in Northumberland and in many parts of the country. We need a cross party working group to look into this issue in detail, listen to children, families, teachers and health and social care professionals and come up with some solutions.
“We know that Northumberland, under a coalition and then a Conservative government, suffered greatly because of the drastic cuts to council funding. We also realise that uncertainty of employment puts children and families at risk.
“We have always said that free school meals vouchers in the school holidays is not a solution, but it’s badly needed here and now to prevent children going hungry.
“I urge council leaders to invite us to work with them to look at what can be done. There needs to be a longer term solution which works for children living in our county because this issue is not going away.”