Copeland Crusader Sets Up Christmas Food Appeal After MPs Vote Down Free School Meals Over Holiday Times

By Rachael Grealish

The Copeland Crusader is at it again and instead of COVID lockdown parcels he’s raising money to provide vulnerable children with meals over the holidays.

Recently, the opposition motion to provide vulnerable children with free school meals over the holidays until Easter 2021 was voted down in Parliament meaning roughly 1.4 million children in England would potentially go hungry during the holidays.

Jordan Mattinson, 27 from Whitehaven, started looking into it and realised this would have an impact on thousands of children in Cumbria and felt he had to do something – so he set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money to fund school meals for vulnerable children in Copeland.

Jordan in Morrisons collecting a donation for the project

He said: “With the news that local MPs Trudy Harrison and Mark Jenkinson and the rest of their party have chosen to not issue the free school meals vouchers during the school holidays I wanted to do something to help.

“My plan is to generate enough funds and donations to cover every single child in the Copeland region with a meal pack for over the holidays, these will consist of non-perishable items and will be several different meals in these packs. 

“I’ll be delivering them to the schools in the last week of term for them to distribute, this way I don’t need to know who is requiring them as that’s none of my business, I just want to know people have enough food to hopefully have a brighter christmas.”

Since starting the campaign, named ‘Copeland Christmas Food Project’, he has raised over £3,000.

The Whitehaven rugby player explained his shock at learning so many children rely on free school meals.

“It’s unbelievable how many kids in our area it’s affected, when I was growing up if it wasn’t for my grandparents we would have gone without a lot of the time, some people aren’t that lucky so this free school meals scheme really is crucial,” he added.

Copeland’s MP, Trudy Harrison, voted against the opposition motion and has been approached by the Herdwick News for a comment, but is yet to respond. 

To donate to the Copeland Christmas Food Project visit his Go Fund Me page.