NEWS / Food Poverty

Renewed calls to MPs to support free school meals for all children in poverty

Objections have been raised in both Houses of Parliament to the Government's plan to introduce a net earnings threshold of £7400 for eligibility for Free School Meals under Universal Credit, triggering renewed calls to extend provision to include all children in poverty.

Despite thousands of objections from individual people and organisations, the Government has now tabled plans to introduce a net earnings threshold of £7400 for children in families receiving Universal Credit to get free school meals.

Whilst the government claims that 50,000 more children will benefit from free school meals, it also means that around 1.1 million children in families receiving Universal Credit are now set to miss out. Sustain one of many organisations calling on the Government to ensure all children in poverty can get a free school meal.

An Early Day Motion calling on the Government to annul the new plans was immediately laid by the opposition in the House of Commons, and a motion against the plans has also been raised in the House of Lords, which should trigger debates in both Houses. The regulations, which are due to come into force by 1 April 2018, could still be stopped or postponed if a vote against them is won in either House.

A public campaign, led by the Children's Society and backed by Sustain and the Children's Food Campaign, is now calling on MPs to oppose the new regulations coming into force, and allow the current process of roll out of Universal Credit to continue instead.

Take action now!

Write to your MP today - using this handy template letter for you to adapt with your own message. If you took part in the earlier action in response to the Government consultation, and supported all children in families receiving Universal Credit being eligible for Free School Meals, let your MP know your voice has not been heard.

For more information:

See Sustain's response to the Government's January 2018 announcement to roll out plans to introduce a net earnings threshold.

See Sustain's response to the Government Consultation on Free School Meals and Pupil Premium under Universal Credit.

Find out more about Sustain's work to improve children's food, encourage uptake of Free School Meals in London, and tackle food poverty nationally.



Food Poverty


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Food Poverty: Over 8 million people in the UK struggle to get enough to eat. Sustain is working with communities, third-sector organisations, local authorities and government, aiming to make sure everyone can eat well.

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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