In October, ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review, Jon Cruddas MP co-signed a letter calling on the Department for Education to extend Free School Meal provision to more children in poverty.

Free School Meals were first established in 1906 and despite the changing eligibility requirements, the premise for doing so has remained constant- to provide a nutritional meal to children in order for them to learn and develop in and out of school.

This school year has been challenging for every child and their parents. This is even more so the case for children from poorer families. Studies show that children who are hungry at school struggle to concentrate, perform poorly and can even suffer worse physical and mental health outcomes.

Jon Cruddas MP feels how we support one another – especially our children – in times of crisis should be a priority for the Government. It is his view that the Government must also prioritise providing a “nutritional safety net” for children from poorer households.

Jon Cruddas MP: “free school meals save a family around £400 a year per child. Considering the year we have had, this provision could make all the difference to those families who were already in financial crisis prior to the pandemic. Extending the free school meal scheme to support those without recourse to public funds and those on Universal Credit, as well as low-income households would provide that little bit of extra support for those struggling to make ends meet.”

The full letter can be found HERE