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Liberal Democrat MP says extending free school meals is a 'no brainer'

16th May 2024 - 07:00
Munira Wilson, MP for Twickenham
Munira Wilson, a Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham, described children still having to learn whilst hungry as ‘immoral’ and she called extending free school meals a 'no brainer'.

The Liberal Democrats noted that increasing the free school meals eligibility threshold to £9,300 in line with inflation would result in 135,000 children in poverty being able to access a hot, healthy and nutritious school meal.

During a speech, Wilson said: “The Government’s advisor on the National Food Strategy Henry Dimbleby said and I quote ‘hungry children cannot learn and cannot thrive. It is unconscionable in 2022 that this situation has not yet been addressed’. We are now in 2024 and nothing has changed.

“Teachers are increasingly having to act as a fourth emergency service, consuming so much time, energy and resources dealing with these issues beyond the school gates, including hunger. Extending free school meals is one way we can restore the support network around our young people by ensuing they have at least one hot cooked meal a day giving them the energy to learn in the afternoon.

“No child should go hungry at school. Liberal Democrats would extend free school meals beginning with every child in poverty to save parents money, encourage healthy eating and give children the energy to learn. It’s a no brainer,” She added: “It is immoral in 2024 [that] children are still having to learn whilst hungry.”

Written by
Edward Waddell