What issues affect children and young people today? On our blog, our volunteers, staff, leaders and the young people we work with share their experiences and tackle the issues. Let us know what you think – leave a comment or send us a message about what you find on our blog.
'It is incredibly upsetting when children in your class complain that they are hungry'
To coincide with our launch of Food for Thought: A survey on teachers' views on school meals, we present a teacher's story concerning free school meals at her school. The teacher chose to remain anonymous.
I have worked with young children in inner London boroughs for the last four years, and currently teach at a primary school in an area with high levels of deprivation.
Each day I see the difference between children who come from deprived backgrounds and those who do not. This is apparent through the effects of the hunger and malnutrition that some of these children from deprived backgrounds experience.
My colleagues and I work closely with families to ensure that all children in our school are well looked after in all senses. But there is only so much we as teachers can do. It is incredibly upsetting and troubling when children in your class frequently complain that they are hungry and you know that there is nothing more that you or their parents are able to do.
Introducing free school meals for families who receive universal credit would mean that many children would get a good, hot meal every day, while at the same time alleviating financial and time pressures that many families face.
Many of these families are already trying as hard as they can but are falling short through no fault at all of their own. By joining the Fair and Square campaign, you could significantly improve the lives of many children and families across the country.
By a teacher in London
Join our Fair and Square campaign
Read about our new report, Food for Thought: A survey on teachers' views on free school meals
What you can do next
1.2m children in poverty don’t receive a free school meal. Make a difference – tell your MP to make it Fair and Square