All primary school children in London to receive free school meals

Posted: 20 February 2023 | | No comments yet

The Mayor of London announced all primary school children in London will receive free school meals during the next academic year.

school meals

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has announced that all primary school children in London will receive free school meals for the next school year, commencing in September 2023.

Stating that “no child should go to school hungry”, Khan will be providing the funding as an “emergency cost of living support measure”.

Taking place during the 2023/2024 academic year, the London Assembly website has claimed that the introduction of universal free school meals could save families around £440 per child. What’s more, The Food Foundation has said that 270,000 pupils will benefit from this decision.

In a tweet, Khan emphasised that “no child should go hungry, but a tragic symptom of the cost of living crisis means that sadly, far too many children are”. 

Labelling support for families amid the cost of living crisis as “vital”, the London Assembly has highlighted that Khan has committed to providing all primary school children with “at least one hot, nutritious meal a day”. 

According to The Food Foundation, one in four households with children have experienced food insecurity between September and October 2022, something that affected an estimated four million children in the UK.

Stating that “all children need a safety net”, the Mayor hopes that primary school children will be able to “reach their potential”, as when they are hungry, children struggle to concentrate and learn in a classroom environment, according to the London Assembly. 

“We will work closely with boroughs, schools and others to ensure there is a straightforward process for schools to receive this money,” said the London Assembly,

“This emergency funding will support children and families across the capital in dealing with the extreme financial pressure they are currently facing.”

Aiming to generate change across the UK, Khan will reportedly continue to call on the Government to provide universal free school meals for all primary school children in the long term. The London Assembly has said that the Mayor will also continue to engage with partners, boroughs and the Government to fight against food insecurity.

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