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from a press release by The Food Foundation

New data released last week from The Food Foundation shows the number of households where children are not getting enough nutritious food has nearly doubled in the past year.

In January 2023, 21.6% of households with children reported that their children had directly experienced food insecurity in the past month, affecting an estimated 3.7 million children. This is compared with 11.6% in January 2022.

These findings come alongside the first national modelling of support for Free School Meals expansion across England’s parliamentary constituencies, which shows overwhelming support (72%) for Government action.

Expanding Free School Meals nationwide, which has been the basis of the Feed the Future campaign, has been made even more urgent following the Mayor of London’s announcement last week that he will be funding this for all primary schoolchildren in the capital as a one-year emergency measure from September 2023.

The London initiative puts further pressure on national Government to honour its levelling up commitment, given the postcode lottery of access to Free School Meals between London and the rest of England where the eligibility annual household income threshold remains at £7,400 (after tax, excluding benefits).

England also lags far behind the devolved nations. Scotland and Wales are rolling out Universal Free School Meals in primary schools, and in Northern Ireland the income threshold is double that of England (£14,000).

The Food Foundation launched a new #FeedtheFuture campaign to call on Government to extend Free School Meals to more children. You can support the campaign here.

Further information is available here.

You may also be interested in GMPA’s programme ‘Money Matters’ that is working in schools with the aim of  increasing household income by providing debt and benefit advice.  This work is funded by Kellogg’s who have been supporting school breakfast clubs in the UK since 1998. Read more.