Free school meals could be available to all no matter what you earn, if new rules go ahead – The Sun

FREE school meals could be made available to all children regardless of what their parents earn, if new rules go ahead.

Currently, only pupils from low-income households, including those on Universal Credit, and those in the first three years of primary school are automatically entitled to free meals.

The London Assembly has approved a motion calling for the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to write to the Secretary of State for Education calling to extend free school meals to all pupils.

In London, 400,000 children have "very low food security" – this is where a person is a risk of being without access to sufficient amounts of nutritious food.

Last year, only 166,512 people received help from a food bank run by the Trussell Trust and only 60,000 of them were children.

Assembly Member Fiona Twycross, who proposed the motion, said: "In one of the richest cities in the world, this is simply unacceptable.

How do I apply for free school lunches?

IF you're in the first three years of primary school then you'll automatically qualify for free lunches.

If you qualify for a free school lunch after year three, you'll need to let your council know first so it can get extra funding from the government.

Simply click on the website here and type in your postcode to be redirected to your local council's website and apply.

The majority of them will ask you to fill in an online form.

Depending on your children's age, some councils will ask you to contact the school directly.

And it depends on the council how quickly you'll get the perk after applying.

Bear in mind that this freebie is different to the school uniform grant, as that's a voluntary sum councils will give you towards your clothing costs.

"Foodbanks and other charities do an incredible job of providing emergency food parcels to those affected by food poverty, but the simple truth is they shouldn’t exist in the first place."

The motion comes amid fears that food prices are likely to rise at the end of the year as a result of the UK leaving the European Union.

While the appeal is being made by the local London government, it wants national government to lead the way in rolling out a new system.

Unfortunately, the appeal isn't likely to inspire immediate change to the rules – it can't actually force the government to introduce universal free school meals.

But it can raise awareness of the issues facing school age children and encourage the DfE to look into it further.

Ms. Twycross added: "Many of the solutions to tackling food insecurity lie in the hands of national Government.

"However, City Hall should also play its role and build the case for extending the provision for universal free school meals."

Free school dinners are available to more than a million children in England but some parents are missing out by not applying.

Hard-up Brits can also get up to £650 free cash for school uniforms, shoes and transport for their children.

Don't qualify for free school meals? A savvy mum has told us how she spends under £10 a week on 15 packed lunches.

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