Lib Dems help get County Council to seek expansion of Free School Meals

13 Dec 2022
Fresh food with a caption that says: "Say no to child hunger"

Surrey Lib Dems have long looked to highlight the dire consequences of food poverty, especially for children and shown their support for extending the provision of Free School Meals advocated by other Lib Dem groups across the country.

They were therefore very happy to support a motion at today's full council at Surrey County Council that was agreed unanimously to press the council into seeing what more it could do to help children in need, including lobbying the government on extending the provision of free school meals. Currently infants in Surrey receive free school meals with provision to primary school pupils in year 3 and above being means tested.

Two years ago the Surrey Lib Dems group put forward their own motion on child poverty and specifically child food poverty, but it was struck down by an amendment from the Tory administration.

Earlier this year the Group reported that funding for free school meals in Surrey had been slashed by £940,756 in real terms and the impact of that reduction is likely to be even greater given the worsening economic situation.

Will Forster, Leader of Surrey Lib Dems who seconded the motion proposed by the Labour group said: "Our Members are very happy to support any measures that may improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities. We have been advocating for an extension to Free School Meals for some time now and with so many families falling through the cracks of the current system, it makes sense that the Government should take another look at eligibility. In fact, we would like to see the scheme expanded much further so that it becomes a universal service where all primary children receive a free school meal."


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