Free of charge meals for school children could become the norm regardless of the financial status of their families if new rules are set in place.
At the moment, only children from low-income families, including those on Universal Credit, and those in the first three years of primary school are entitled to free meals.
The London Assembly has greenlit a motion calling for London’s mayor to write to the Secretary of State for Education and ask for an extension of free school meals to all children.
Around 400,000 kids in London have “very low food security,” which means that a person is likely lacking sufficient nutrition.
In 2019, only 166,512 people were given food from a food bank operated by the Trussell Trust and a mere 60,000 of them were children.
Fiona Twycross, a member of the Assembly, who proposed the new changes, said:
“In one of the richest cities in the world, this is simply unacceptable.
“Foodbanks and other charities do an incredible job of providing emergency food parcels to those affected by food poverty, but the simple truth is they shouldn’t exist in the first place.”
This move has been made due to growing fears of the raising of food prices by the end of the year as a result of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.
The appeal hopes for the national government to implement the new system.
Sadly, the new changes aren’t likely to be made any time soon. In fact, the government cannot be forced to introduce universal free school meals.
The appeal can, however, raise awareness of the problem facing school-aged children and push the DfE to look into the matter more deeply.
Ms. Twycross continued:
“Many of the solutions to tackling food insecurity lie in the hands of national Government.
“However, City Hall should also play its role and build the case for extending the provision for universal free school meals.”
If you wish to apply for school lunches you can do so by filling out an online form through your local council’s website. https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals
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