Every child deserves access to healthy, nutritious food. But this isn’t our reality — currently hundreds of thousands of children living in poverty in England are not eligible for free school meals. This means they miss out on a hot, healthy meal and the wider benefits to their health, wellbeing and educational attainment that a nutritious meal provides — all as the cost of living soars!
That’s where Bite Back 2030 steps in. We are a youth-led movement campaigning for every child’s right to be able to access healthy and nourishing food. We are young people fighting for those most vulnerable — children.
The Government says they want to help families across the country who are struggling, and free school meals are the perfect way to do this. Currently, the household earnings threshold to be eligible for free school meals is incredibly low and has stayed the same despite the soaring costs of food.
We’ve seen kids skip lunch because they don’t have the money to get food. Others will rely on their friends to share their food. Headteachers have told us about children bringing in empty lunch boxes or hiding in the playground at lunchtime. The fact we’re one of the richest economies in the world and too many young people don’t have access to at least one nutritious meal a day is shocking.
Our petition calling on the government to extend free school meals to all children living in poverty was signed by over 250,000 people. We delivered the signatures to Downing Street on the 14th January 2023 and we’re now demanding that the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, meets with us to discuss the urgent need to support struggling families. Will you write to Jeremy Hunt, asking him to meet with Bite Back’s young people?