The Superpowers of Free School Meals Event

November 17, 2022

No matter how good their teacher, no children can learn properly whilst hungry. Nutrition is vitally important to children that the provision of a healthy meal during school-time can feel like a superpower.

Last week I attended the Food Foundation’s Superpowers of Free School Meals event in support of extending Free School Meals (FSMs) to all children living in poverty. I spoke to various youth food campaigners, including the inspiring Dev Sharma MYP (pictured), about the benefits of expansion and what we can do to further support the 800,000 children in poverty who cannot access these vital school lunches.

The benefits of FSMs are huge, and include reductions in obesity, increased academic attainment, higher attendance and better behaviour.

Since becoming an MP, I have continually pushed the Government to ensure that every child has access to a nutritious school lunch. Most recently, I spoke in Parliament in criticism of the Government’s attempts to withdraw FSM support during half-term, Easter and summer holidays and voiced my outrage at their meagre food parcels.

My School Breakfast Bill, raised as a Private Members Bill in 2020, would have ensured every child has access to a nutritious breakfast ensuring they aren’t hungry when starting the school day. Unfortunately my Bill did not make it through the required parliamentary stages due to pandemic impacting parliamentary business.

More information on the work of the Food Foundation and the push for free school meals can be found here.

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