I spoke to a local Mum with two children yesterday who was concerned that, under Tory plans, her daughters would lose their free-school lunch entitlement, and she’d have to find almost £1,000 next year to replace them.
She’s not alone. Under Tory plans to cut free-school meals, nearly 40,000 families in our constituency risk losing their free school lunches. Doing so punishes families who are just about managing, to the tune of £480 a year per child.
This short-sighted proposal is harmful to our children’s health and their social development. Healthier children learn better and children sharing a communal meal gives them all an opportunity to develop social skills together.
Replacing lunches with breakfasts is a cheap trick. The Tories have only budgeted 7p per head for breakfasts - that’s based on free donated food, no staff costs and 25% take up. And what a waste of the money spent on expanding school kitchens to be able to make a fully nutritious lunch.
I am proud that in Coalition the Liberal Democrats introduced free school meals for children in their first three years in primary school. But we shouldn’t stop there. The Liberal Democrats would extend free school meals to all children at primary school.
Don’t just take it from me, food journalist and author Bee Wilson talks about the benefits of free school meals for all children. To read the article, click here.