By Angela Green, Content Executive, H&C News: Every child deserves a hot meal at Christmas.
Tom Kerridge and The Food Foundation, supported by Bloomsbury Publishing, are highlighting the harrowing situation of over 800,000 school children slipping through the eligibility net and going hungry at school.
Kerridge has made a festive Christmas meal including a tasty Turkey Meatloaf Tray Bake which serves four and comes in at a canny cost of just £9.88, with plenty of leftovers for Boxing Day.
The Turkey Meatloaf Tray Bake uses turkey mince, sausage meat and stuffing to create a tasty festive treat alongside roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sprouts and Savoy cabbage topped with a rich gravy.
Shockingly in 2022, 800,000 children do not currently meet the Free School Meals eligibility criteria despite their household income being so low they are classed as living in poverty.
Expanding the eligibility to include those on Universal Credit would be an effective way to support families struggling during the cost-of-living crisis.
Kerridge said of their plight: “No child should be hungry at school. I wanted to highlight this critical situation the best way I know how – with food, so I created a Full Time Christmas meal for the same price as an average school lunch in the UK.
“Christmas is a stark reminder to look after each other, and it shouldn’t be just over the festive period, it should be all the time.
“There are kids going to school with empty lunch boxes, hiding from the dining room because they are so embarrassed. It’s a national crisis and truly a heart-breaking one, that the Government can change. So, I am asking the Great British Public to write to your MP to ask for a change in policy, we need to make our voices heard, for our children, and make it clear that enough is enough.”
Parents and mums-to-be can also get support from the Healthy Start program where they can receive an additional £4.25 per week for healthy food and milk.
The Full Time Meals campaign supports FareShare, the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste. The average cost of a school meal is £2.47. – that’s less than the price of a high street coffee. Please help by making a donation today. Just £5 from you will cover the cost of two school meals. A donation of £12.34 could help buy a week’s worth of school meals for a hungry child.
To donate £5, simply text 5FULL to 70580. Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network message. To donate £12.34, or whatever you can afford, head over to fareshare.org.uk/fulltime
Donations to this Appeal are being matched by long-standing FareShare supporters Mike and Helen Brown. Mike and Helen are generously matching the first £250,000 worth of donations, boosting the overall appeal total to £500,000 – the equivalent of 2 million meals.