Politics benefits when those with direct, real experience of issues engage and we have seen that with the efforts of Marcus Rashford MBE who has worked tirelessly to highlight the issue of food poverty.

This important work, including the possible extension of food vouchers was debated in Parliament this week. Food vouchers were provided when schools were shut and unable to provide free school meals. Thankfully and in no small part due to the work of our teachers our schools have been able to reopen, allowing for a full return of free school meals.

Marcus Rashford’s taskforce rightly understands tackling food poverty is more than just a temporary extension of free school vouchers, which aren’t easily able to be targeted at those in most need. The taskforce has set out the three proposals and rightly the Government as part of its National Strategy for Food will work on these.

I too have personal experience of this issue and it has driven much of my work in Parliament. Issues either I have directly been involved in, or we should address – they are wider, much wider than we saw in the debate. What is clear, no child should ever go hungry.

The single biggest issue is money. Yes, to provide immediate help our £9.3bn of extra support has: delivered a Universal Credit increase of £20 a week, an increase in the Local Housing Allowance, worth typically £600 per year and we have provided £500m of additional Local Welfare Support. However we need to unlock the £2.7bn a year of unclaimed benefits. 700,000 (often the most vulnerable) families miss out on an average of £270 per month. This is for a variety of reasons: complexity of benefits, sudden changes in circumstances (health, job loss, housing, family break-up etc) or simply being overwhelmed.

We are making progress. UC has merged six benefits into one. Rather than having to navigate DWP, HMRC and the Local Authority (where all too often people fell between the cracks) they now have one point of contact. We have also removed cliff edges, where under Tax Credits you were at risk of losing all financial support – leaving you worse off through no fault of your own.

We need to go further. I see through my own casework that some claimants still struggle to navigate the system. We could and should be providing an independent advocate to support them through the process.

We have started this with the £40m ‘Help to Claim’ support provided by Citizens Advice – but this isn’t enough. It should be physically available in every job centre. I am personally pushing this in Parliament.

For those in work we have rightly increased the National Living Wage well above inflation year after year, combined with our income tax threshold increases (the point you have to pay tax) – meaning those on the NLW working full-time are £4,200 per year better off.

This has been crucial for tackling poverty.

The taskforce also highlights the importance of School Holiday Camps. This is an issue I have long campaigned on. Our school facilities should be open for community benefit after school, and during holidays. This is important for all families, including those where parents are working – juggling childcare.

We should be removing hire costs (covered by the Sugar Tax) for any constructive activities for children (voluntary groups or camps) helping bring the costs down for working parents, and then providing complimentary spaces for those vulnerable children who will agree would benefit from wrap around support. The Government has started this with the summer activities and food programme supporting 50,000 children across 17 Local Authorities, but we need this extending rapidly – let’s get our schools facilities open and being used. Here in Swindon we have seen the success of Draycott Sports Camp and Ministers have met Mark Draycott.

I care passionately about this work – an issue that beyond the theatre of debates unites cross-party work. This is a priority.