800,000 children living in poverty urgently need free school meals

Two women serving food to a boy in a school cafeteria queue.


Children need good, nutritious food – that’s a fact. And they can’t concentrate at school with a rumbling stomach.

Yet 800,000 children in England aren’t eligible for free school meals, despite living in poverty.

Free school meals are a lifeline for families on low incomes. They help ensure children can grow and learn while also relieving pressure on tight family budgets.
Families living in poverty were already struggling before the cost-of-living crisis hit. Now they’re being forced into desperate situations. Parents have told us that they are skipping meals so that they can make sure their children can eat at least once a day.

It is vital the UK government expands free school meals to help support children who are living in poverty.

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Many families on universal credit are not eligible for free school meals due to the current earnings threshold being £7,400 per annum (not including income from benefits).

Not only does this deprive children of potentially the only hot, nutritious meal of the day, but it also impacts their performance at school and their overall wellbeing into their adult years.

Two women serving food to a boy in a school cafeteria queue. Photo credit: monkeybusinessimages/istock 


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