Poverty-stricken children missing out on free meals

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- Credit: Archant

HUNDREDS of North Somerset children are missing out on free school meals despite living in poverty, according to a recent poll.

The Children’s Society has carried out research across the UK to find out how many children are being denied free school meals.

The results have been published for each parliamentary constituency and in North Somerset it has been revealed about 900 youngsters living in poverty are missing out.

That equates to just more than half of all children judged to be living in poverty in North Somerset.

According to The Children’s Society, more than half of the 2.2million schoolchildren living in poverty in England do not receive a school meal. Of these, 700,000 are not entitled to one, often because their parents work regardless of how little they earn.


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As well as not receiving a free lunch, this also means their families are not receiving financial support toward school clothing or educational trips.

Through its research, The Children’s Society discovered that for some children a free school meal may be the only proper meal they get and across the country, for one third of youngsters whose parents spoke to the charity, lunch is their main meal of the day.

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The Children’s Society, through its Fair and Square campaign, is now calling on the Government to make free school meals available to all children who are in poverty.

Chief executive Matthew Reed said: “We know families we work with up and down the country that parents are struggling to make ends meet.

“The Government is reconsidering which children will be entitled to free school meals.

“We urge the Government to take this opportunity to make sure all children in poverty can get a free school meal.”

As part of its campaign, the charity is encouraging people to contact their MP on the issue. To find out more visit www.childrenssociety.org.uk/fairand square

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