If Labour is able to take control of Southwark council in May, all primary school children will receive free school meals. This important announcement means that young children in our borough will be given the boost of a healthy meal in the middle of the school day.
This is a superb, progressive policy that Victoria, Renata and I are very proud to be campaigning on. It will help poorer families living in our borough, by removing the stigma and social barriers which continue to be attached to recipients of free chool meals. Providing a healthy and nutritious midday meal will make a huge difference to those 1,800 pupils who are already entitled to free school meals but do not take advantage of that entitlement.
It will also save every family £7.00 per week, per primary school child. With a recent study by Leeds University showing that only 1% of packed lunches taken to school contain the nutritional content that a child needs, the importance of this policy to children should not be under-estimated. This is a policy which cuts across boundaries of class and income, and addresses the critical problems of childhood obesity and ill-health.