11 October 2022
Feed the Future campaign
There are 800,000 children in England living in poverty who are not currently eligible for Free School Meals.
Families are really struggling with the cost of living crisis, which is having an awful impact on children who are not getting the food they need to grow up healthy.
There is also a postcode lottery, as children who would be able to get a Free School Meal in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, miss out in England.
Given the scale of the challenge, we should do all we can to help children living in poverty to achieve and thrive so we're calling for the Government to extend Free School Meals to more children.
They guarantee children a hot, nutritious meal at lunchtime. They support families with the rising cost of living, help pupils engage in learning, enhance academic performance, and improve nutrition – shoring up the diets of children from low-income households.
Expanding eligibility to all children in households on Universal Credit would be an effective way to support families struggling with a huge rise in the cost of living.
This extension to eligibility is an urgent first step towards a long-term goal for the Government to provide universal, comprehensively funded, nutritious school food for all children.
Learn more by reading our Superpowers of Free School Meals Evidence Pack.
How to support the campaign
We've drafted a message you can email your MP, quickly and easily. The more politicians hear from the people they represent, the more likely they are to act to #FeedtheFuture
We've also created a How to Support the Campaign document to help as many people as possible get involved and share our campaign graphics on social media.
The group leading this campaign to extend Free School Meal provision is a coalition including The Food Foundation, School Food Matters, Sustain, Bite Back 2030, Child Poverty Action Group, Impact on Urban Health, Jamie Oliver Ltd and Chefs in Schools representing more than 500,000 teachers.
We also represent the School Food Review Working Group which is part of a wider coalition of 36 organisations including charities, unions, catering companies, educational organisations and academics.
The campaign is being run in partnership with the Independent and in association with the Evening Standard.