Choosing to let pupils starve

It is a political choice not to feed hungry children at school. In the face of soaring food inflation, the cost of feeding disadvantaged children who have fallen through the free school meals gaps is insignificant, says Caroline Voogd

With food inflation expected to hit 17% early this year (Nabarro, 2022) there is a heavy sense of foreboding looming over schools at what they will witness in the coming, cold months of the spring term.

It feels like a perfect storm in schools at the moment.

Amid Covid recovery, an unprecedented mental health crisis among our children and young people (Newlove-Delgado et al, 2022), the frightening resurgence of Group A Streptococcus and scarlet fever, and continuing Covid infections and absence, schools are also witnessing many of their families being pushed to the edge financially; being pushed to breaking point.

The cost of living crisis, driven by record inflation levels of around 10% at the time of writing, is pushing many families into worsening poverty and food insecurity.

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