[2023] Motion 27 Free school meals

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress believes that all children in England should be guaranteed access to the food that they need to live healthy lives and that good nutrition in childhood is essential for this critical period in rapid growth. Without it, health outcomes worsen as do children’s life chances, as well as pressure on the NHS.

Congress is alarmed that around 800,000 children are living in poverty but are not eligible for free school meals and that four million are experiencing food poverty. The current cost- of-living crisis is seeing rising numbers of families having to make stark choices including whether or not they can afford to feed their children. No government should knowingly allow any child to go hungry when we have the ability to provide support.

Dieticians and other health professionals see the consequences of child food poverty every day with rising malnutrition leading to conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Congress agrees that universal free school meals for all primary school children would reduce inequality and the stigmatisation of pupils experiencing food poverty.


i. calls on the TUC to continue to campaign for free school meals for all primary school children

ii. congratulates the NEU on their campaign ‘No Child Left Behind’

iii. calls on unions to support the work or the BDA and the education unions in their campaigns for universal free school meals.

British Dietetic Association

› In point i. after “children”, add:
“including the Labour Party to commit to this in its general election manifesto”.