Labour’s policy is to extend Free School Meals to all pupils in primary schools. We now know that Theresa May wants to take them away from millions of children in infant schools.

This affects children over the whole country, however, a survey commissioned by the London Food Board and carried out by IPSOS Mori found that 74,000 children in London alone regularly go to bed hungry. For many children, the food they get in school at lunchtime is their only nutritious meal of the day. As a long-time campaigner on school food, and co-founder of the Labour Campaign for Free School Meals for All, I genuinely like the idea that every child would be entitled to a free breakfast. However, this must not be at the expense of a healthy lunch. When the previous government introduced Universal Infant Free School Meals – on the basis of evidence provided by pilots commissioned by the Labour government – they recognised that universal free school meals can save families an average of £487 per child per year. They also acknowledged that universal free school meals improve attainment of all children, not just those who would previously have been eligible for free school meals. By committing to scrap universal free school meals for infants, Theresa May is breaking a cross-party consensus on this issue. With experts also saying this will damage attempts to tackle childhood obesity, she is also being short-sighted and mean-spirited.

If you agree that Theresa May is wrong, please sign my petition on Universal Infant Free School Meals and share it with your friends, colleagues and family –

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2 Comments

  1. Alan Rogers says:

    Although these meals are essential for some families the point is not just to feed but also to educate. This is surely a function of a primary school even in the Tory Britain of the Supreme Leader. The idea is to inculcate healthy eating habits in very young children. The potential saving of this education will far exceed the cost. But Tories don’t look that far ahead. They penny pinch now and have a forward view extending only to the next general election.

  2. healthaudit says:

    I recommend you visit France and see what is served in school canteens.
    Building an appreciation of good food from an early age is good for people , the next generation, local agriculture, health, education, quality of life, the economy, social cohesion etc.
    Britain is sinking fast under this government.
    I hadn’t realised Theresa May was planning to scrap school meals for primary school children. Thank you for pointing it out.

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