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Campaigning Groups Urge Government to Support Low-Income Migrant Families

The Children’s Society has sent a letter to the Secretary of State for Education calling on the Government to permanently extend free school meals (FSM) to pupils from low-income migrant families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF). The letter was signed by 60 organisations and charities including the Food Foundation. It supports the National Food Strategy’s Part One report recommendation to provide a ‘nutritional safety net’ by extending FSM to all families on Universal Credit but urges the Government to go further and ensure that children in poverty without recourse to public funds also have access to such meals, regardless of their parents’ immigration status.

The Government has temporarily extended FSM to children in some families affected by the NRPF condition while the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak impacts schools – a decision which the letter’s signatories have praised as a positive step.  However, there is uncertainty over how long this vital support will continue, and the group is concerned that when this help is withdrawn, thousands of children will lose out on what could be their only nutritious meal of the day.

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