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Concerns that thousands of children are not receiving substitute school meals

New research suggests tens of thousands of children may not be receiving substitute school meals or meal vouchers after schools close due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Charity, the Food Foundation has released evidence suggesting that as many as 830,000 families could be going without free meals despite government assurances that support would be protected.

Findings from a recent YouGov survey suggest that more than half (54%) of parents with children aged 8-16 living in their household and eligible for Free School Meals report not receiving any substitute meals for their children.

Also, as a result of coronavirus, over half (52%) of people with children aged 8 to 16 in their household surveyed reported being worried about getting the food they need.

6% or repondees reported that they have already needed to take out a personal loan or borrow money as a result of COVID-19 with people with children in their households 2.5 times as likely to have done so, compared to those without children.

Anna Taylor, director of the Food Foundation, said: “There is an urgent need for a clear, co-ordinated effort which enables everyone to act in the right way to address the need for providing food aid for the sick and vulnerable.

“The Food Foundation is calling for the government to establish a fast-moving and accountable national food aid co-ordination mechanism to mobilise and oversee these operations.”