Our Chief Executive, Naomi Duncan, response to the Autumn Budget and the lack of action on child food poverty.

“We are extremely disappointed to see no mention of extending eligibility for free school meals in the budget. Our survey of teachers, conducted in September 2022, showed children coming to school with as little as a slice of bread, some with nothing at all in their lunchboxes. Since then, inflation has continued to aggressively erode incomes, while energy prices have risen dramatically – we have seen first-hand the problem getting worse. Measures announced today ignore the need to provide a vital nutritional safety net for children, ensuring equal access to a quality, decent meal every day in school. Extending free school meal eligibility to all families who access Universal Credit would not only have been the right thing – but the smart thing – to do. School food improves wellbeing, attainment and health – and it puts money back into the economy. Above all, it can ensure that no child faces the worry or shame about going hungry at school. The Government may not be listening yet but we will continue to campaign until they do. Please help us by supporting the #feedthefuture campaign. We won’t stop until the Government hears us.”