MPs have rejected a Labour motion to offer free school meals to children during holidays until Easter 2021.
Despite a handful of Tory MPs rebelling to support the motions, the government secured a victory in the Commons, despite pressure from footballer Marcus Rashford.
Downing Street ruled out performing a late U-turn ahead of the vote, with prime minister Boris Johnson telling MPs that support will continue for children on low incomes.
Minister for crime and policing, Kit Malthouse, said the decision was a “tough one” but the government felt it could better help families through the benefits system.
But Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, branded the result of the vote as “callous”, while Labour said that “no child should go hungry over the holidays”.
Rashford vowed to continue fighting for the cause, saying the issue was a matter of “humanity”.