By Molly Catterall
Over 25,000 children across York could lose their free school meals after new government changes were debated in parliament earlier this week.
Families on universal credit will need to be earning £7,400 a year in order for their child to receive free school meals. Those currently receiving free schools meals will continue to do so until the end of universal credit in 2022. These changes will affect those in the next generation.
Figures gathered by the children society show potentially 1 million children will miss out due to these changes, affecting over 4000 children in York alone.
This has brought concerns about the availability of lunch meals to those children most in need, especially the impact on low income families.
Rachael Maskell Labour MP for York expressed the importance of free school meals for children. “It means children will get one good nourishing meal a day.” She states that when children are properly nourished they learn better, which is important for their health and well-being.
Free school meals are extremely important, not only for children, but for parents. Maskhell explains how some parents make sacrifices for their children to ensure they receive food for the day.
Maskell also states how child poverty is a more important issue to address than removing free school meals. 1.5 million children are in poverty currently, demonstrating where the real problem lies.