Independents call for every Nottinghamshire primary school pupil to get a free meal
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The call, comes a week after the Conservative-run council announced an increase in the cost of every school meal by 40p a day.
The Indepdendents claim a third of school staff say they are seeing more pupils who do not have enough dinner money as schools battle rising poverty levels.
Research by the child poverty action group (CPAG) found 80 per cent believe extending free school meals to all pupils would have a big impact on reducing child poverty in their school.
The motion, which will be heard at a full council meeting on September 27, will also call for the Department of Education to increase the annual payment to academy schools and extend universal infant free school meals to all primary schools in Nottinghamshire.
Coun Helen-Ann Smith (Ash Ind), who represents Sutton North, said, “Charities back our call, teachers back our call, and so should the Tories who run County Hall.
"We are asking County Hall bosses to investigate, look at the root causes of child poverty and take positive action to help starving children.
"The council claims they already feed every hungry child, yet research from the CPAG begs to differ.
"The provision of free school meals has a dramatic impact in improving children’s economic, educational and health outcomes throughout life. We should be doing everything possible to extend this.”
Speaking when the announcement was made, Coun John Cottee (Con), council cabinet member for communities, said: “Rising inflation has a big impact on us all and we know it’s been a tough time for local families.
“High food and staff costs have caused major financial pressures for our catering service team, which we have taken into account when reviewing our school meal prices.
Coun Tracey Taylor (Con), cabinet member for children and families, said: “While this is not a decision that we have taken lightly, the increase compares favourably with other providers and we continue to contribute towards the overall costs of providing the meals.
“The new price still represents very good value for these high quality, nutritionally balanced meals that we provide to schools for the children.”