Jamie Oliver Addresses Children’s Food Situation

Jamie Oliver has warned that children are coming to school with empty lunchboxes and no money for food, as he called for more pupils to qualify for free meals. The chef warned that the most vulnerable in society struggled to be excluded from the scheme.

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It came as a joint campaign by The Independent and The Food Foundation urged the government to give meals to all schoolchildren living in poverty but not currently eligible.

To receive free school meals, households must earn under £7,400 a year – excluding benefits. However, many families who are struggling financially do not meet this criterion.

Oliver said it was “crazy” that so many children were hungry during the day and called on the government to do more to help those in need.

“We’re talking about kids that are maybe coming from homes where there isn’t enough food,” he said. “They’re not being properly nourished at breakfast time, and they come to school with an empty stomach.”

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He added that many children eligible for free meals do not take them up because of the stigma attached.

“There are many kids that are too embarrassed to put their hand up and say, ‘I want a free meal’,” Oliver said. “So we need to break down that barrier.”

The campaign calls on the government to raise the eligibility threshold for free school meals so that all children from low-income families can receive them.

It also wants the government to invest in a Universal Free School Meals programme to provide free meals to all primary schoolchildren.

The campaign has been backed by several high-profile figures, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former education secretary David Blunkett.

At the campaign launch, Corbyn said that no child should go hungry during the day.

“It is a disgrace that in 21st century Britain, we have children going to school hungry,” he said. “No child should be starting their day on an empty stomach.”

Blunkett added that free school meals were “an investment in our future” and called on the government to do more to help families who are struggling financially.

The campaign has also received support from several charities, including the Child Poverty Action Group and the Trussell Trust.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said that it was “committed to ensuring every child has access to a nutritious meal at lunchtime” and pointed to the fact that 1.3 million children were now eligible for free school meals, compared to just over 600,000 in 2010.

However, many campaigners say that more must be done to help those struggling financially.

=> Conclusion: Jamie Oliver has warned that children come to school with empty lunchboxes and no money for food, as he called for more pupils to qualify for free meals.

The chef warned that the most vulnerable in society struggled to be excluded from the scheme.

It came as a joint campaign by The Independent and The Food Foundation urged the government to give meals to all schoolchildren living in poverty but not currently eligible.

To receive free school meals, households must earn under £7,400 a year – excluding benefits. However, many families who are struggling financially do not meet this criterion.

Oliver said it was “crazy” that so many children were hungry during the day and called on the government to do more to help those in need.

The campaign calls on the government to raise the eligibility threshold for free school meals so that all children from low-income families can receive them.

It also wants the government to invest in a Universal Free School Meals programme to provide free meals to all primary schoolchildren.

The campaign has been backed by several high-profile figures, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former education secretary David Blunkett.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said it was “committed to ensuring every child has access to a nutritious meal at lunchtime”, but many campaigners say that more needs to be done to help those struggling financially.

What do you think of the campaign? Do you believe it is necessary? Let us know in the comments below.

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