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Prime Minister: Don’t Ignore 800,000 Children in Need of Free School Meals

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My name is Christina, I’m 18 and like millions of other children I grew up on free school meals. 

Every child deserves access to healthy, nutritious food, but this isn’t our reality. I’ve seen kids go hungry at lunch because they don’t have the money to get food. The fact we’re one of the richest economies in the world and young people don’t have access to at least one nutritious meal a day is shocking. 

This week the Government published its food strategy white paper. Food tsar Henry Dimbleby made many recommendations for child health but unfortunately the Prime Minister has decided to dither and delay.

I was devastated to read that one of the most important recommendations — extending free school meals to all children in need — will not be implemented. 800,000 children who are currently living in poverty aren’t currently eligible for this vital support — even as the cost of living soars.

I’ve been fighting for free school meals for those in need for years. Back during lockdown, me and the other young people at Bite Back 2030 started a petition calling for free school meals to be provided during the school holidays. And it worked! Over 400,000 people added their name and the Prime Minister responded to us and other campaigners.

Now I know we need to fight again. I’ve been inspired by young people like Asha and Saffron who are telling their stories to show how the rising cost of living is hitting them, and want to stand up for the huge number of families who are struggling to afford the basics.

But why does it fall to us as  young people to fight for the Government to make sure kids aren’t going hungry? ​​When we’re given nutritious, quality food you can see that children thrive in life — no matter where they live. There needs to be a fixed solution. 

That’s why I, together with the other young peoples at Bite Back, have launched an urgent new petition. Please add your name to tell the Prime Minister: extend free school meals to the 800,000 children who need them! 

 

 

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