BRADFORD Council has announced it is donating £20,000 to local food banks to help feed thousands of disadvantaged children during the half-term break.

The cash is being spread across the district, and the Council is also working with community groups to serve more than 10,000 meals to vulnerable families during the school holiday.

Councillor Imran Khan, deputy leader and executive member for education, employment and skills, said it is "absolutely the right thing to do".

The donation follows the successful summer scheme which funded 45 charities and community organisations to run summer holiday clubs providing food and activities for children.

The Council has taken the decision after a motion to provide food vouchers during school holidays to families on free school meals was voted down by the Conservative Government on Wednesday.

Spearheaded by England footballer Marcus Rashford, it followed his successful campaign to provide meal vouchers over the summer, forcing a Government U-turn on the matter.

Leader of Bradford Council Susan Hinchcliffe said: “At this time of national crisis it is the role of Government to step up and support those who are struggling most.

"We were very disappointed in the result of the debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

"If successful this would have supported Bradford families. The resulting outcry has been huge.

"We have stepped in to help but it’s also great to see that businesses and voluntary sector organisations across the district are lending support. It’s a real team effort.”

Deputy leader Cllr Khan added: “As a council we felt compelled to step up.

"We are committed to ensuring that no child goes hungry in Bradford district. It is absolutely the right thing to do.

“We know that school holidays are tough for our poorest families during this time of COVID. For those already struggling on low incomes, finding the money for the extra meals is very challenging. The dreadful financial consequences of COVID-19 have exacerbated the problem.

“During the summer holidays more than 2,300 school-age children were helped by our Holiday Activities and Food Programme. I am delighted that of the 45 organisations we worked with then, more than 30 have already answered our call, at very short notice, to help provide meals for our most vulnerable children and families during this half term.”

Bradford Council has joined local authorities across England who have announced support for less fortunate families over half-term, and many Bradford businesses have also vowed to do their bit to stop impoverished children from going hungry.