The Member of Parliament for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham MP is backing calls for a free school meal to be provided to every child in poverty. This comes as shocking new statistics by a leading charity reveal that an estimated 1,300 children in poverty in Stockton North are missing out on one.
This represents 32% of all children in poverty in Stockton North who are not getting a free school meal, according to The Children’s Society.
Alex Cunningham, the Member of Parliament for Stockton North said:
“The huge number of children living in poverty in this constituency who are not getting a free school meal is disgraceful.
“Making sure every child can get a decent meal in the middle of their school day is a basic essential. This is why I am supporting this important campaign to change the situation locally and across the country.”
For some children, a free school lunch may be the only hot, nutritious meal they get. Across the country, for a third of children whose parents The Children’s Society spoke to, lunch was their main meal of the day.
The Children’s Society Chief Executive, Matthew Reed says:
“We know from the families we work with up and down the country that parents are struggling to make ends meet. Right now, the government is reconsidering which children will be entitled to get free school meals. We urge the government to take this opportunity to make sure all children in poverty can get a free school meal.”
Many low income families are unable to get free school meals simply because their parents are working – no matter how little they earn.
Across the country every day, more than half of the 2.2 million school children living in poverty in England miss out on a free school meal. Of these, 700,000 are not even entitled to one – often because their parents work, regardless of how little they earn.