Laura Sharman 29 July 2020

National Food Strategy calls for more free school meals

Free school dinners should be extended to every child where their parent or guardian is receiving Universal Credit, a report has recommended today.

The first part of the National Food Strategy calls on the Government to ensure the most disadvantaged children are not left behind.

This includes expanding the eligibility of the free school meals scheme, extending the Holiday Activity and Food Programme to all areas in England, and increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers.

The report states: 'One of the miserable legacies of COVID-19 is likely to be a dramatic increase in unemployment and poverty, and therefore hunger. The effects of hunger on young bodies (and minds) are serious and long-lasting, and exacerbate social inequalities.

'The Government must move quickly to shore up the diets of the most deprived children using existing, proven mechanisms.'

The report also explores what type of trading nation we should become, arguing that new trade deals should protect environmental and animal welfare standards.

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