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Free School Meals For All Campaign - Week of Action June 24-30

Last year around four million children in the UK lived in households that went short of food.

That’s why Together Liverpool is encouraging all in our network to join a week of action, campaigning for UK Government to extend Free School Meals to every child in primary school.

This charity is among 200+ groups to sign an open letter to the Prime Minster, launched by the National Education Union’s No Child Left Behind campaign, asking that all primary school children be given the basic nutrition to learn and grow.

Now there is a Free School Meals for All Bill, tabled by Labour MP Zarah Sultana, which will have its second reading in the Houses of Parliament on June 30.

The week of action from June 24-30 is a chance for all church and social activists across the Network of Kindness to raise our voices to support Free School Meals for All.

No Child Left behind is providing a toolkit for faith leaders to support this, including a prayer from Together Liverpool Executive Director James Green. James explained why we are backing the campaign. He says: “Schools should be places where children can break bread, learn and grow together, free from stigma or shame. Faith groups and charities have made a huge effort in Liverpool to expand support to families in and out of term time, now we need the Government to do its bit. We encourage churches to put children and Free School Meals for all in your prayers."

Sign up here for updates and to receive the toolkit. Alternatively access it here.

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The week begins with a faith focus on June 24 & 25th, when faith leaders are invited to hold a prayer that gets at the heart of the moral case for why we need Free School Meals for All.

Faith groups are encouraged to reflect on the importance of food in our children’s future, and our responsibility to address the vast inequality they experience in their lives and in school today. Read more here.

You can also ask your congregation to sign the open letter to the Prime Minister. This will be delivered to Downing Street on 29th June. You can also write to MPs asking them to help end the child hunger epidemic in our schools.

The letter sets out how with food costs soaring and bills skyrocketing amid the greatest cost of living crisis in a generation, too many families are being pulled into poverty.

A hot, healthy school dinner every day is the difference between a child going hungry and thriving in school.

Yet currently in England Free School Meals are only provided for all children for the first three years of school, meaning from Year 3 on, millions of children as young as 7 miss out on a healthy meal.

In 2020, Scotland pledged to extend Free School Meals for every child in primary education. This year, Wales said they’ll do the same. It is time for England to catch up.

Yet providing a Free School Meal for every child in primary school will ensure all children can flourish and no child is left behind.

We believe that when children eat together, learn together and play together, they thrive. That’s the future we want for our children and our schools. Urge the Government to extend Free School Meals to every child in primary school. Co-sign our open letter today.

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