12 November 2019

The 2019 General Election is on!

The UK goes to the polls on Thursday 12 December. This election is much bigger than a single issue, and should be seen as an opportunity for every party to show its commitment to the health and wellbeing of children at school by ensuring they have access to healthy, sustainable school meals. We at School Food Matters believe that if this commitment is underpinned by comprehensive food education, we can support children and young people to become mindful, healthy adults.

We have now released our 2019 Election Manifesto, in which we call on all parties to consider including the following five key policy reforms:

  1. School Food Standards must be made mandatory across all schools and Early Years settings without exception.
  2. Food Education, a new stand-alone subject, should be mandatory in all schools and cover the skills needed for children and young people to keep themselves healthy and become informed consumers.
  3. The allocation for Free School Meals must be increased to match rising costs. The allocation should be ring-fenced to be spent only on children’s health and unspent allowance should be rolled over instead of being absorbed back into school budget. To reduce stigma, we recommend a rebrand and auto-enrolment for eligible families so that school meals reach the families that need them most.
  4. Better Procurement to mandate the use of local, seasonal, pesticide-free produce for all Government-funded food schemes and a commitment to meat-free days across all public sector contracts.
  5. Drinking Fountains/refill stations in schools would be an excellent use of money raised through the Sugary Drinks Industry Levy and would represent meaningful action on single use plastics.

You can read our full manifesto here.


In other news ...

Latest free school meal guidance for schools

19 January 2021

The government has updated the official guidance for providing schools meals during the pandemic

New Briefing Paper on tackling childhood food poverty

5 January 2021

A briefing paper by the University of Leeds on mitigating childhood food poverty has found that expanding eligibility for free school meals would narrow inequalities in health and educational attainment.

Using the Sugary Drinks Tax to promote healthy food in schools

18 January 2021

Children’s Food Campaign (CFC) has released a report outlining why funds from the Sugary Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) should be invested back into children’s health.