Campaigners urge government food tsar to back two free school meals a day for all pup…

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Every pupil rich and poor should get two free school meals a day by law, campaigners have demanded in a meeting with the government’s food tsar.

The minimum wage and state benefits would also have to show how much of the sum has been calculated for food under the proposals by the Right to Food campaign.

School kitchens would also be used for holiday food for kids and evening meals-on-wheels for the wider community.

And Tory ministers would have a legal duty to “ensure food security for our nations”, the campaigners say.

The pressure group, which is backed by football group Fans Supporting Foodbanks, union Unite and 20 councils including Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, brought the demands today to a meeting with Henry Dimbleby, author of the government’s National Food Strategy.



School kitchens would also be used for holiday food for kids and evening meals-on-wheels for the wider community
School kitchens would also be used for holiday food for kids and evening meals-on-wheels for the wider community

Mr Dimbleby, who is following up on a report last year about child hunger, met with left-wing Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne and Labour peer Baroness Chakrabarti.

Mr Byrne, whose motion calling for a legal Right to Food was backed by 59 MPs in December, said: “The time for sticking plasters is over.

“The time for reliance on thousands of food bank and pantry volunteers and donors is over.”

Free meals in England are currently only universal for infant school pupils – not older primary or secondary pupils who are means-tested.

The campaign would extend a free breakfast and lunch on every school day to all children in compulsory education, regardless of family income.

Leon co-founder Mr Dimbleby called for 1.5million more pupils to get free school meals when he launched Part 1 of his National Food Strategy last year.

The study proposed an expansion of free school meals to every child where a parent is receiving Universal Credit.

At present, children from households earning less than £7,400 before benefits are eligible.

Part 2 of the strategy had been due to be published early this year.





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