Sustain: Education leaders call for more pupils to get free school meals

Education and Union leaders representing a million teachers and education specialists have demanded that greater action be taken regarding free school meals as the cost of living increases.

The demand from ten different unions and professional organisations follows a major survey from The Food Foundation carried out last month, which revealed that around 2.6 million children live in households that missed meals or struggled to access healthy food, meaning that a total of 17.2% of homes with children are affected. The same survey found levels of food insecurity in households with children have risen by 42% since the beginning of 2022.

Education leaders have called for the government to commit to rolling out universal school meals, plus urgent action in the cost of living crisis to offer free school meals to all children in families receiving universal credit or equivalent benefits.