If you follow our work you may know by now that this week, alongside many other food organisations we’re demanding the Government expands eligibility for free school meal entitlement in England – now. 

 

We’ve been hearing stories of children going hungry, pretending to have food in their lunchboxes out of shame, only having a slice of bread to eat, or eating rubbers just to have something in their stomachs. 

 

We joined forces with Survation, and asked 500 primary school teachers to share what they’re seeing, with their own eyes, in schools every day. 

 

We’ve also spoken to the incredible teachers we work with to transform their school food. One of those is Jo Riley, Headteacher at Randal Cremer School in Hackney. This is what she had to say. 

 

“The children I worry about most are [those] of the working poor. They aren’t entitled to free school meals. It’s insane that we live in the 21st century, in a wealthy country, and children are going hungry.”

 

Schools across the country are doing everything they can to support children and families struggling – breakfast clubs, snacks in the classroom for kids who haven’t had breakfast, play schemes to ensure kids can get hot food, And these are all examples just from Randal Cremer.

 

Jo says the “situation will get much worse over the winter. The knock on impact on reduced take up of school dinners is that it makes the school meals more expensive to produce. We are having to use some of our education budgets for food, and so the quality of our children’s education is at risk. “

 

Jo’s experiences highlight exactly why we’re calling for the FSM entitlement to be extended to all those on universal credit now; we simply cannot continue to let families suffer and children go hungry, putting their education and futures at risk. 

Join us in calling for government action now: Sign the petition and write to your MP. Read the full Survation report on campaign page.