Our response to the news today that the Mayor of London’s office will extend Free School Meals to all primary school children in London: 270,000 more pupils will now benefit from a hot nutritious meal at lunchtime:

We are delighted to hear that The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is making a welcome and well overdue intervention to ensure that tens of thousands more children in London will get the benefits of a hot, nutritious meal at lunchtime. For one year, the Mayor’s office will fund primary age Free School Meals (FSM) for all children in London. 

This initiative will help to ensure that all primary school aged children in the capital can access vital nutrition, to help them stay healthy and focus in the classroom. By taking a universal approach, the policy crucially ensures that no children in primary school fall through the safety net of support, and also offers a golden opportunity to robustly prove the wider benefits for all children in the school.

The Mayor has said: “I firmly believe a civilised society ensures its children are nourished, not neglected. Supporting London’s families through this cost of living crisis and helping ensure our children are properly fed is vital as we continue striving to build a better London for everyone – a city that is fairer, safer and more prosperous for all.”

This is a hugely positive step that will make a real difference to thousands of children and families struggling across the capital. Politicians across London, in City Hall, Westminster, Southwark, Newham and Tower Hamlets, have all recognised the wide benefits of ensuring that children get a nutritious school meal every day. We hope that politicians of all parties take note – feeding children well in school should not be a party political issue. With heart and head, it is a smart investment.

Its time now for Government to also step up to the plate. Too many children in secondary schools will still be missing out. Too many children still at risk of going hungry, unable to thrive and damaging their ability to learn.

We’re delighted to see this announcement today, and we hope to see more policies like this fully funded by government and capturing all children, in future. All kids should have access to great school food. Kids are our future, let’s feed them like it.