Vote for Motion on Free School Meals

Conference is concerned that a study by Ipsos Mori poll and the London Food Board on 11th August found that a third of children reported sometimes having trouble paying attention at school because of hunger. Conference notes the School Food Plan highlighting the benefits of Universal School Meals. Conference calls for a Labour manifesto commitment that healthy and nutritionally balanced Free School Meals for All will be introduced in to all state funded schools.

Conference notes the British Heart Foundation report on childhood obesity published on 12 August. Obesity costs the NHS £5.1 billion annually with indirect costs estimated to be three times higher. Urgent action is required. Poor diet and hunger in children can partly be tackled at school. Conference welcomes initiatives introducing free school breakfasts in Wales and Blackpool and policies in Southwark, Islington and Newham providing universal free school meals in primary schools.

Conference welcomes the launch of the Free School Meals for All campaign noting children benefiting from the free school meal pilots progress at school than children in similar areas. Free School Meals for All remove the stigma of claiming free school meals and a disincentive to work. Conference notes universal school meals save families around £300 per child and ensures all children get a nutritionally balanced meal. Conference agrees that in tackling poverty, hunger and future obesity Free School Meals for All is the ultimate One Nation policy

Why free healthy school meals for all?

Free school meals for all is a policy which helps both children and families. It gives children better learning, a better diet and by saving up to £500 pel child per year can ease the pressure or hard working families and removes a major barrier to people returning to work. It also removes stigma from our poorest children

Please support the contemporary issues motion on free school meals for all in the priorities ballot. Here are some reasons why:

The benefit of the policy has been demonstrated by Labour pilots and by a number of Labour councils such as Newham, Hull, Durham, Islington and Southwark. It is a Labour policy that changes lives.

  • Results go up and diets of children improve. Free school meals is a Labour policy that gives children better life chances.
  • It saves families up to £500 a year per child and removes disincentives to work for people whose children would lose free school meals if they took a job. It is a Labour policy that helps families financially.
  • It removes stigma and makes sure children in poverty don’t miss out, Over half a million children who are entitled to FSMs currently don’t get them and a further 700,000 children living in poverty currently aren’t entitled. Removing stigma and ensuring all children in poverty get a healthy school meal is a Labour policy that is simply the right thing to do.
  • The health benefits & financial savings of addressing poor diet are huge.
  • It is a Labour policy whose idea has come. The arguments in favour of the policy are so compelling, even this Tory-led government is prepared to implement it in infant schools, But as the NUT General Secretary said this week; ‘children don’t stop being hungry at seven’.
  • Making the case for healthy free school meals for all

Delegate to Labour Party Conference? Please support the motion on free healthy school meals for all in the Priorities Ballot taking place on SUNDAY from 10.30 to 3.00 pm.

Because hungry children do not learn.

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