LGA statement: Free school meals and hardship funding

"No young person should have to go hungry and ensuring vulnerable pupils are provided for is a top priority for councils."


Photo of toddlers eating

Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:

“No young person should have to go hungry and ensuring vulnerable pupils are provided for is a top priority for councils.

“Short-term hardship funding provided by the Government this summer helped councils try and provide much-needed crisis support to all households - including those without children – struggling to afford food but also fuel and other essentials. 

“Demand for support from households facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 has outstripped this funding now and councils are having to find money from stretched budgets to top it up. This is increasingly difficult as they continue to face rising costs of providing services - such as adult social care, protecting children and housing rough sleepers - and income losses as a result of the pandemic.

“As many households are likely to be economically vulnerable for some time to come, it is vital that the Government restores local welfare funding so councils can provide preventative support to all households who need it.”