Labour calls for free school meals across all holidays
Labour is calling on the UK Government to extend free school meals (FSM) across all school holidays this year.
Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green MP has today announced Labour’s calls for the Government to ‘put families first’. Among other things, Labour asks the government to:
- extend free school meals across all school holidays this year,
- establish a cash transfer system to ensure families receive the full value of support,
- and stop the planned cut to Universal Credit.
This follows the Government’s decision not to provide free school meals over this week’s half-term holiday stating that vulnerable families will be supported through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme.
Meanwhile, the Department for Education has made funding available for the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF). This will be free to access for children who are eligible for FSM and will be co-ordinated by local authorities in England.
While we would be glad to see any extension of free school meals, we urge the Government to implement its own National Food Strategy and urgently review school food policy. This would mean not only maintaining the HAF but expanding eligibility for FSM for all children from a household receiving Universal Credit or with no recourse to public funds.
In other news ...
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has recommended the Government take more action to address food insecurity.
Two Bills are being considered by California’s Legislature: one to provide universal free school meals (UFSM) and one to incentivise healthy, plant-based food.
The Department for Education (DfE) has updated its guidance on providing free school meals (FSM) as pupils have returned to the classroom.