Councillors push for universal free school meals in Lewisham

12 January 2009

12 January 2009 

Green councillors in Lewisham have tabled a motion for the next full Council meeting on 21 January, calling on the Government to fund free school meals for all children.

Cllr Darren Johnson - Leader of the Green Group, who will be proposing the motion, said,

"As more and more families face financial difficulties universal free school meals would remove the social stigma attached to free school meals and would ensure every child has a healthy nutritious lunch. I welcome the fact that one school in New Cross has already gone down this route but it should be happening everywhere."

The full text of the motion to be debated next Wednesday is as follows

Motion on free school meals

This council:

  a.. believes that giving every child a nutritious meal at lunchtime is an effective way of improving concentration in class, raising attainment and making for healthier, happier children;
  a.. believes giving free school meals only to children from low-income families gives the service a stigma which deters those who need it most from taking it up, diverting them to less healthy alternatives;
  a.. congratulates Temple Grove Hatcham primary school on its decision to reject means testing and provide every pupil with a free school meal;
  a.. supports the Child Poverty Action Group's call for universal free school meals;
  a.. and calls on the Mayor to write to the Secretary of State to request funding for a universal free school meals pilot scheme similar to that in Hull, and if the trials prove successful the national roll-out of free school meals for all.


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