End Child Food Poverty Coalition

Sustain, Food Foundation, School Food Matters, Bite Back 2030, Chefs in Schools, Soil Association, together convening a coalition of 25+ other organisations

In March 2020, schools across the UK closed as a result of Coronavirus, and approximately 1.4 million children normally receiving free school meals were put at risk of greater food insecurity, and school caterers were left with pre-ordered food stocks. The coalition of food organisations immediately convened an advocacy effort to secure continued access to free school meals so that no disadvantaged child would go hungry. We undertook a tightly coordinated campaign combining research, direct advocacy, public campaigning, briefing of Members of Parliament and a legal challenge in partnership with the Good Law Project, as well as convening support from a broad coalition of charities, school leaders and young advocates to attract national attention. This escalated to the highest national profile through Marcus Rashford’s personal support - to secure a national school meal voucher scheme, continuation of support through school holidays, extension of eligibility for Free School Meals to low-income migrant children with no recourse to public funds, and inclusion of measures on holiday food provision and free school meal eligibility as part of the National Food Strategy. The campaign now continues with calls for a broader review of school food.