Barbara has welcomed the Children’s Society’s “Fair and Square” campaign which calls for all children from the lowest-income families to receive a free school meal.
The campaign’s report shows that eating a nutritious meal at lunchtime helps children to stay healthy and can increase their concentration during afternoon lessons. A school meal can also help children to develop healthy eating habits and so to improve their health overall.
“Free school meals are very important for lower-income families, as they help to ensure that children get at least one nutritious meal every day. Right now there are estimated to be between 160,000 and 190,000 children from the lowest- income families in the North West who are either not entitled to free school meals or who do not take them up. Free school meals are often not taken up because the pupils are teased and bullied for claiming them.
“This must change and I call on the Government to extend free school meals to all families who are entitled to Universal Credit, when that is brought in next year.”