A welcome recognition of the needs and challenges faced by families with children on Universal Credit
The National Food Strategy’s recommendation to extend free school meals to more children who need them would go a long way to making sure children get enough to eat.
Becca Lyon, Head of UK Child Poverty Campaigns at Save the Children, said:
“In the post-lockdown recession, many more families will struggle to feed their children adequately. A government that is serious about ‘levelling up’ must ensure that all children get the nutrition they need” (The National Food Strategy. Part One.).
We agree and we support the National Food Strategy’s call to extend free school meals to more children who need them.
“The National Food Strategy’s recommendation to extend free school meals to more children who need them would go a long way to making sure children get enough to eat. We know from our own research that families on Universal Credit are struggling to put food on the table, so extending the scheme to those families would make a huge difference.
“We also welcome Government measures announced on Monday to tackle obesity. However, in order to effectively tackle the issue, we cannot ignore the link between poverty and obesity. The Government's own statistics published in February 2020 show that ‘child obesity prevalence is strongly correlated with socioeconomic status and is highest among children living in the most deprived local authorities.’
“We need policies in place that ensure parents and their children have enough money to live on, and wider family support initiatives to help families to tackle and prevent food poverty and obesity, starting in the early years.
“This is a unique opportunity for the Government to level up by addressing issues related to health inequality as part of their Better Health Strategy. We urge the Government to take this opportunity.”