Nearly one million children are living in households that are struggling to afford to feed their children during a school day, according to a new survey.
The Children's Society found 885,000 children are living in a family that are not entitled to free school meals but are struggling to cover the cost of food at school.
The survey of parents found 42% have cut down on their own or families food shop to meet the expense, with one in six delaying paying bills.
The Children's Society is urging the Government to extend free school meal provision to all those families in receipt of Universal Credit and those subject to no recourse to public funds.
Mark Russell, chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: 'The current threshold for free school meals is too low, it leaves many hard-working families, who earn just slightly above the cut off, but often still living in poverty, having to find the money to cover their child’s food during the school day.
'Extending free school meals to all families on Universal Credit would make a huge difference. Not only would it relieve some of the immense pressure low income families face to feed their children, it would help the children themselves.'