Cumbrian MP backs free school meals for all children

Ahead of tomorrow’s budget announcement, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has co-signed an open letter to the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, asking him to extend free school meals to all primary-age children.

The letter has been signed by MPs from opposition parties. Harrowing stories have emerged about some children ‘smuggling’ food from breakfast clubs and pretending to eat from empty lunchboxes at lunch time, showing the devastating effect of the cost-of-living crisis on the most vulnerable within our society.

A survey by the Food Foundation conducted in April 2022 found that 15.5% of all UK households were experiencing food insecurity; they ate less or did not eat for a day because they were unable to access or afford food.

Speaking today, Tim said: “It is unimaginably cruel that we have children in this country who are going hungry.

“We are the sixth largest economy in the world with children pretending to eat from empty lunchboxes. That is horrifying, and unacceptable – it cannot go on any longer but there is a solution.

“The Chancellor must be compassionate in his budget announcement tomorrow. I implore him to consider whether he is okay with letting children go hungry and do what is necessary to stop this heart-breaking situation.”

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