Religious leaders have backed The Independent‘s call for free school meals to be extended to more children living in poverty and urged the government to make it one of its priorities this winter.
Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham, said: “It is heartbreaking to think of children living in poverty facing this winter without free school meals and the impact this will have on their health, wellbeing and educational outcomes.”
Our Feed the Future campaign, in partnership with the Food Foundation and a coalition of charities, calls on the government for free school meals to be extended to all children living in families that rely on universal credit.
Mr Butler, who is lead bishop for the Church of England in the House of Lords on welfare issues, added: “The Independent has shone a light on the heroic efforts of schools to step in and support their pupils and struggling families through initiatives such as school food banks but it really should not be down to them to fill this gap. I have long held that all children in families in receipt of universal credit should receive free school meals and I urge the government to give this priority in their spending plans.”
Religious leaders back our campaign to urgently extend free school meals https://t.co/fK1hGv7uTE
— The Independent (@Independent) October 31, 2022