Universal Free School Meals Is “Right Thing To Do”

For all primary school children says Londonwide Assembly Member Fiona Twycross

School meals should be free to all primary school age children to combat food poverty in London, said London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross today. A motion urging the Mayor of London Boris Johnson to call for universal free school meals for all primary school children was passed today by the London Assembly.

Fiona Twycross AM proposed the motion to highlight that hunger amongst school age children is a serious and growing problem across London. She launched a report earlier this year entitled ‘A Zero Hunger City – Tackling food poverty in London’, which sets out recommendations to the Mayor to tackle Food Poverty in London.

London Councils, including Southwark, Islington, and Newham, have already taken steps towards achieving the goal of UFSM.

London-wide Labour London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross said: “Universal free school meals for all children at primary schools makes perfect sense. It not only eliminates the stigma attached with receiving free school meals but it reduces hunger amongst children, improves concentration and educational performance.

“Child hunger is a serious problem in London. The recent report by the London Food Board found that 74,000 children in London sometimes or often go to bed hungry while eight per cent said that their children have had to skip meals as there was not enough food to eat.

“Hungry children don't learn and providing all children with free healthy school meals is a good investment in our children’s future. The programme beginning next year just covers reception and years 1 and 2 but as the Mayor, Boris needs to campaign to ensure that all primary school children qualify for free school meals. It is not only popular, it is the right thing to do.”

October 10, 2013

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Fiona Twycross
Labour Londonwide Assembly Member