Food price inflation is compounding the devastating impact of rising bills and lessening support, especially for families with children on free school meals.
The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data show that food price inflation is 1.4% higher than before the pandemic. This coincides with soaring energy prices and the £20 cut to universal credit.
The Food Foundation has found that 55% of households with children are worried they won’t be able to afford their bills, to the extent it will directly affect their children’s health and wellbeing. This rises to 73% in families with children receiving free school meals.
Beyond these devastating hits to households’ budgets, in spring the Government plans to hike taxes and national insurance, which will cause the most pain to the poorest.
We support the government-commissioned National Food Strategy, which urges leaders to extend the eligibility for free school meals amongst other crucial safety nets. We also support our friends leading the Keep the Lifeline campaign, calling for the cut to universal credit to be scrapped.
As Rishi Sunak prepares for his Budget announcement tomorrow, we implore him to consider those families who are facing a winter deciding whether to heat or eat.
We believe that school food should be a consistent and non-partisan priority for government. We use our real-world experience of working in schools to strengthen our campaigns on children’s health, access to nutritious school meals and food education.