Primary schoolchildren in Ealing and across London are set to get free school meals from September as part of an initiative that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s says will help families during the cost of living crisis.
The Mayor of London, who received free school meals as a child said: “The cost of living crisis means families and children across our city are in desperate need of additional support. I have repeatedly urged the Government to provide free school meals to help already stretched families, but they have simply failed to act.
“This is why I’m stepping forward with an emergency £130m scheme that will ensure every single primary pupil in the capital receives free school meals. This will save families hundreds of pounds over the year, ensuring parents aren’t worrying about how they’re going to feed their children. It will also guarantee every primary school student a healthy, nutritious meal – meaning they don’t go hungry in the classroom and can better concentrate on their studies.
“I know from personal experience that free school meals are a lifeline. My siblings and I depended on them to eat while at school and my parents relied on them to give our family a little extra breathing room financially. The difference they can make to children who are at risk of going hungry – and to families who are struggling to make ends meet – is truly game-changing.”
The introduction of free school meals for all London primary schoolchildren has been welcomed by Ealing and Acton MP, Dr Rupa Huq.
Dr Huq said: “This is a groundbreaking policy from Mayor Sadiq Khan. No child should go to school hungry. As a mum myself I know how much of a difference this will make in a cost of living crisis to families of every single primary school child across Ealing, Acton, Chiswick and the whole of the capital.”
She added: “Universal free school meals will be a game-changer for at a time so many are struggling with rising bills while removing the stigma and shame associated with free school meals and will improve attainment and health in those vital primary years where no kid should be running on empty. The need for this policy in the capital city in one of the richest nations on earth highlights the damaging impact of 13 years of Tory government has done to London. Labour in power is showing what can be done: this scheme now needs rolling out by Sunak and his chums nationwide.”