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.
What is the state of free school meals near you?
A shocking 1.2 million children living in poverty across England are missing out on free school meals. Of these children, 700,000 are not even entitled to the meals, despite their need, often simply because their parents are working.
Our Fair and Square campaign calls on the government to make sure all children in poverty receive free school meals.
Find the local picture
We have created a map that reveals the estimated numbers of children in poverty missing out on free school meals across the country, broken down by parliamentary constituency.
After using the map, please contact your MP today to tell them to help ensure all children in poverty receive a free school meal.
Percentage of children in poverty estimated to miss out on free school meals
- Up to 12%
(See our footnotes for information about our calculations.)
Now is the time to act
The introduction of the new Universal Credit benefits system - beginning this October - provides a unique opportunity for the government to make sure all children living in poverty can benefit from free school meals.
We are calling for free school meals entitlement to be extended to all children in families in receipt of universal credit.
It is vital that the government seizes this crucial opportunity to help move children out of poverty.
You can make it fair and square
Our Fair and Square campaign is calling for all children in poverty across the country to be able to get free school meals.
Please join in today - tell your MP to help ensure all children in poverty receive a free school meal.
- To find the number of children in poverty missing out on free school meals, we subtracted the number of children registered for free school meals from the number of children in poverty in the constituency.
- There are 1.2 million children in poverty nationally missing out on free school meals. Our estimate is that in total 900,000 of these children are not registered to receive one (700,000 are unable to register because they are not entitled and an additional 200,000 are entitled but not registered). The local data is based on children not entitled and not registered for free school meals, as this is the only data available. The further 300,000 missing out on free school meals across England are entitled and registered but do not eat the meal each day. For further explanation, please see our Fair and Square policy report.
- Data for 10 constituencies have been excluded from this map because these constituencies (Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Camberwell and Peckham, Dulwich and West Norwood, East Ham, West Ham, Islington North, Islington South and Finsbury, Wolverhampton North East, Wolverhampton South East, and Wolverhampton South West) are in local authorities that have extended entitlement for free school meals beyond the criteria set by central government. For example, Islington and Southwark are giving free school meals to all primary school children in their area.
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