feed the future
EVERY CHILD SHOULD EAT, ENJOY AND LEARN ABOUT GREAT FOOD IN SCHOOL BUT MANY ARE MISSING OUT. HELP US STOP SCHOOL FOOD BECOMING A LUXURY – JOIN THE CAMPAIGN FOR CHANGE NOW.
Access to good school food changes kids’ lives for the better – it improves health, attainment and wellbeing. Yet, the cost-of-living crisis is making school food unaffordable. Survation polled 1,000 parents for us to find out more about the impact.
WHAT WE FOUND:
30% can no longer afford to pay for school lunches for their child.
When asked, 41% had to pack less nutritious lunches for children because of price rises.
56% said they had struggled to make ends meet.
When asked whether they felt the Free School Meal System was fair, 58% said it was not.
62% would be more likely to vote for a party which promised to expand free school meals.
Should the Government expand eligibility of Free School Meals? 83% said yes.
Not only is school food beneficial for well-being, it improves health and attainment. And yet, nearly one million children living in poverty are not eligible for a free school meal. We’re also seeing a postcode lottery of access emerging.
England’s school meal eligibility threshold is currently the most restrictive of all the devolved nations – only families who earn below £7,400 are entitled to free school meals – whereas in Scotland and Wales, free school meals are being introduced for all children at primary level, while Northern Ireland’s eligibility threshold is almost twice that of England’s at £14,000.
In London, all primary school children are now entitled to free school meals following a policy change from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, but children in secondary schools miss out.
We, and many other campaigners, are calling for eligibility for free school meals to be extended to all families receiving universal credit. This would ensure every child is guaranteed a nutritious meal in school.
Support our call for change.
hear from parents themselves
Parents told us of the shame, sadness and embarrassment that comes with struggling to make ends meet, and that this impacts on their children’s ability to learn, to sit with their friends at lunch, and have access to school food that fuels them throughout the day.
“The quotes from parents within this important research are truly heart-breaking; hard-working parents feeling ashamed and children missing out on the nutrition they need to thrive. Surely it’s time for ministers to step up, prioritise children’s health and wellbeing and be proud to be the government that introduced stigma-free school food for all.”
we also spoke to headteachers, who are all too aware of the flaws in the system
Since our work began in 2018 we’ve worked with a number of schools who’ve seen the value school food has when it is prioritised. There can be untold benefits for all students and the whole school. This is why every child should have access to a hot, nutritious and tasty lunch.
“More than half of parents are struggling to make ends meet, unable to afford hot lunches or nutritious packed lunches. Yet this Government refuses to ensure that every child who needs it gets a decent hot meal each school day, despite huge popular support for extending free school meal access.
“We now have growing inequality, where age or location determines whether a child is fed in school. It’s unjustifiable.
“We know that eating a meal in school goes beyond immediate hunger, providing a powerful opportunity to nourish and educate children too. Investing in child health is investing in the future, when will this Government start realising it?”