A blogger has offered to clear a school’s dinner debt so “kids don’t go hungry”.

A letter was sent to parents, who had run up a school meal debt at Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in Penygroes, warning that pupils would be denied meals.

The school’s strategic headmaster, Neil Foden, angered parents when he pointed out in the letter that the school cook had been instructed not to give food to any child "if their debt has not been cleared".

The move was made because of a deficit in the school’s meal budget which led to the discovery that “a handful of pupils had run up debts totalling more than £1,800”.

Manchester United and England strike Marcus Rashford, a campaigner for giving disadvantaged children free meals over school holidays, had his say on the matter on twitter yesterday.

He said: “Has the pandemic not taught us anything? Can we not be understanding? Come on now…”

And now Man Behaving Dadly blogger Simon Harris has tweeted the school to say he wants to pay the £1,800 debt.

He made the offer after the school’s strategic headmaster Neil Foden provoked fury told parents in a letter that the school cook had been instructed not to give food to any child "if their debt has not been cleared".

In his tweet to the school he said: “As it has been reported that you’ve told your chef not to serve meals to pupils who are more than 2p in debt due to an £1,800 deficit in your catering budget, I am more than happy to cover this amount from some recent fundraising to end this madness. Let me know.”

He added: "I will absolutely cover their catering deficit if it stops this madness of kids potentially going hungry."

Welsh Conservative shadow minister for education, Laura Anne Jones MS said: “This decision by Gwynedd Council’s is very troubling and concerning.

“No child should be punished and denied food for being more than a penny in debt to the school canteen and it should be discussed with parents and dealt with through that avenue, not this heavy-handed approach.

“Gwynedd Council should immediately reverse this decision and work with parents to find a solution that keeps children fed whilst ensuring monies are collected.”

Gwynedd Council said: “We do not operate a blanket policy of refusing meals to pupils, and will discuss this matter directly with the school.

“We would urge any parents or guardians who are having difficulty in paying for their child’s school meals to contact the Education Department or school directly. Their child may be entitled to free school meals.

“In terms of payment of school meals, an online system has been introduced on which parents should ensure that sufficient funds are in place to pay for their child’s school meals.

“The payment system offers some flexibility for parents who may for whatever reason not be able to make payment for a short period of time. Reminder messages are sent as required to ensure that no significant debts are incurred.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales Jane Dodds said: “Punishing children and families for circumstances out of their control is never acceptable. Gwynedd Council should immediately step in to rectify the situation.

“The Welsh Government should also be considering what it can do to help struggling families out. Unfortunately, as the cost of living crisis hits families across Wales, more and more parents are going to be struggling with paying for school meals.”