A stock classroom image (Credit: Getty)

‘Give free school meals to 70,000 more Cardiff kids’

Cardiff People’s Assembly calls for Welsh Government to amend the Free School Meals eligibility criteria

CAMPAIGNERS in Cardiff are asking the Welsh Government to change the eligibility criteria for free school meals which they say excludes 70,000 pupils in poverty across Wales.

Currently children in families on Universal Credit are only eligible for free school meals if their household income is below £7,400. Campaign Lead Adam Johannes says this watermark is far too low.

“Say you have a family with three children on a very low income paying for school lunches five days a week for three children, maybe it could add up to quite a lot of money,” Johannes said.

“One of the things we still see is the effects of not eating properly. Effects on your educational attainment, on your concentration, those (things) have real life-long consequences.”

One of the things we still see is the effects of not eating properly

Campaign Lead Adam Johannes

The Welsh Government said in October that free school meals had been a priority for them during the pandemic.

People’s Assembly hopes its petition will make free school meals available for all children in families on Universal Credit, not just those below the income threshold. Changing this would make 70,000 more children in poverty in Wales eligible.

Cardiff People Assembly’s campaign launches on Wednesday, December 9. You can find the petition and launch event details on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cardiffpeoplesassemblyagainstausterity.