The current income threshold to be eligible for Free School Meals is so low that 800,000 children living in poverty are not able to receive this vital nutritional safety net. For this reason, the Feed the Future campaign has been calling for the expansion of eligibility for Free School Meals to all children in households in receipt of Universal Credit to ensure that all children living in poverty are guaranteed a hot, nutritious meal at school.
There has been a huge amount of support for the campaign including from the English public, education leaders, health professionals and celebrities including Zayn Mailk, Dr Alex George and Dr Adam Kay, Dr Xand Van Tulleken, Tom Kerridge, Melissa Hemsley, Leyla Kazim and Jamie Oliver.
But MPs are the only ones who have the power to actually make this change happen. So what do they think?
Last week we held an event on The Superpowers of Free School Meals featuring a panel of cross party representatives - all strongly showing their support for the expansion of Free School Meals:
Several other MPs have also spoken out to demonstrate their support including Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up and Robert Halfon, the recently instated Minister of State at the Department for Education.
To find out what wider MP opinion is, we conducted a survey with YouGov of a representative sample of MPs. This is what we found:
The Government's budget on Thursday 17th November is a critical moment when they could allocate funding towards expanding the Free School Meals scheme - an intervention that has been shown to be a worthwhile economic investment, as well as a necessity to help prevent children going hungry during the cost of living crisis.