As one of your constituents, I am writing to ask you to represent my views. It was disappointing that the Chancellor did not extend Free School Meals in his Autumn Budget.
Whilst Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt missed the opportunity, there is still time to do what’s right.
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. Given the scale of the challenge, Free School Meals is a really targeted way to directly help children achieve and thrive.
Currently 800,000 schoolchildren in England live in poverty but don’t qualify for Free School Meals. There is 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.
Free School Meals guarantee children a hot, nutritious meal every lunchtime. They help hard-working families save money, and support pupils to learn and concentrate at school. Investing in Free School Meals will provide economic benefits to our country. Investing in children now will help them become the citizens of tomorrow.
I’m not alone in this view; 72% of the public in England want the Government to extend Free School Meals in line with Universal Credit. Teachers, health professionals, chefs, caterers, business leaders and young people themselves are all behind this call.
So, as my representative, I ask you to write to please make it your priority to write to the Prime Minister and ask him on my behalf to take action on Free School Meals. It’s not too late.