More than 12,500 primary schoolchildren in Ealing who go to state schools are now getting free school meals for the whole of the academic year.
The initiative from the Mayor of London to help support people with the cost-of-living crisis, sees 287,000 pupils across London including 12,581 in Ealing being provided with a free meal that will save families in Ealing around £440 per child during the year.
Previously children in years 3 to 6 in primary school years had only received free school meals if they lived in households on universal credit earning less than £7,400 a year – after tax and not including benefits, and regardless of the number of children in the family.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “”I know from personal experience what a lifeline free school meals can be and I’m immensely proud that our unprecedented funding means that hundreds of thousands of children across London’s primary schools are now benefitting from them.”
He added: “As the new academic year begins, for the first time ever all children at state primary schools in every borough will be enjoying a free lunch at school every day – helping families struggling with the cost-of-living and ensuring children don’t go hungry. It is shocking that families across the capital are struggling to feed themselves as they try to deal with the cost-of-living crisis, and I will continue to do all I can to support Londoners as we build a better and more prosperous city for all.”
Chef Jamie Oliver MBE said: “Nourishing our kids with nutritious and delicious food at lunch time is an investment in their future, boosts our economy and sets them up for a healthier and more productive life. Sadiq Khan has recognised this by giving all primary school children a free school meal and now we need politicians across all parties to put child health above politics and act now.”
All primary pupils will automatically get the free meal and Ealing Council is also encouraging parents to register their child as well in order to see if they may be eligible for additional government funding to support them.
Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal, cabinet member for a fairer start said: “It is great to know that the Mayor of London is funding free school meals for all primary schoolchildren for the next academic year. This will help financially all families with young children.”
Councillor Nagpal added: “But I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure you apply for free school meals if you are eligible to do so or to re-register if you are already receiving them. If you don’t, you will miss out on food vouchers over the school holidays, free holiday activities, and your child’s school will miss out on vital funding to spend on your child’s education.”