City of Westminster to provide free school meals for all primary children

7 December 2022
Westminster City Council will fund school lunches for all its state primary school pupils.

Westminster joins Newham, Southwark, Islington and Tower Hamlets to become the fifth local authority to offer free school meals to all primary children. Our favourite New Year’s resolution yet, provision will begin in January 2023.

Funding will be provided directly to schools for at least 18 months. The Council estimates this will save families up to £550 per child, per year; vital support during the worsening cost of living crisis.

Currently, children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 across England are provided with a free school meal, funded by the government. The five local councils extending support to Years 3 – 6 are having to pay for these additional meals from their own, already squeezed, purses. They clearly recognise the many benefits that this investment can bring.

We are really excited that this nutritional safety net is being extended to more children. School Food Matters is currently working in Westminster on our Healthy Zones programme, supporting schools to create sustained changes to school food environments so that healthy food is prioritised throughout the school day. We will be there to help Westminster schools get the best out of this vital investment in children’s health.

But the fight for free school meals continues and for a second week running, Rishi Sunak has been challenged at Prime Minister’s Questions. Westminster City Council joins the growing list of those who recognise that investing in our next generation is the right thing to do. When will the government do the right thing and #FeedtheFuture?