WHITCHURCH residents braved the elements to take a stand over the government's failure to provide free school meals for poor students.

Whitchurch Christian Social Justice Group held a protest on Tuesday, October 27, outside the town hall.

Group member Ruth Vale said: "The need for charity to feed hungry children shows a failing government. It's a disgrace that our MP Kit Malthouse should claim over £50,000 in allowances in 2019-2020, but vote against free meals for hungry children. The UN reports that our welfare system is inadequate."

According to the group's research, 40 children at Whitchurch Primary School currently receive free school meals - seven which are new since the start of the pandemic. While at Testbourne Community School, 83 students are eligible for free school meals - approximately 8.97 percent of the whole school.

Group member Rhiannon Love said: “This whole debate has not only highlighted how out of touch the government is, but also where their priorities lie - unfortunately that does not seem to be with our most vulnerable in society.”