The Government has frozen the grant it gives to schools to pay for free school meals since 2012, at only £2.30 per meal, despite labour costs, overheads and food prices increasing significantly. As a result, schools have either had to provide cheaper, less-nutritious food, or subsidise free meals from their already stretched budgets. Before Parliament broke up for the summer recess, I urged the Government to review this.

No child should be forced to go hungry or be unable to afford a healthy diet, yet too many people experience food insecurity. The recent Children’s Future Food inquiry, which I was actively involved in, revealed the scale of this problem, and demonstrated how Government policies are driving the increase in food poverty. This is something we are working on locally through Feeding Bristol CIO, but we need the Government to recognise the part it has to play in tackling this problem too.


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