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A 'proper meal’? Free school meals in Portugal and England

14 March 2019
If we had not included Portuguese young people in our cross national study of Families and Food in Hard Times*, the inadequacies in the free school meal system in England might not have been quite so obvious.

David Cameron's record on child poverty

13 July 2016
David Cameron’s final words at PMQs today – “Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it” – bring to my mind one of his early speeches on poverty. 

Advising foodbank clients - one year on

16 May 2016
We started providing welfare rights advice to clients of the Tower Hamlets Foodbank as part of First Love Foundation’s Advice & Support project almost three years ago, thanks to help from the Pears Foundation. It’s now been a year since the project was scaled up with support from the Big Lottery Fund and I joined the team. 

The big warning in Unicef’s report on child wellbeing

18 April 2016
Unicef’s analysis of child wellbeing across the developed world, released today, is emphatic that increasing family incomes is a critical tool to boost children’s educational success, health and happiness. In saying this, it is issuing a pretty clear warning to the United Kingdom government that poverty-producing policies will deprive children of happy, healthy and secure childhoods.

No such thing as a free lunch?

22 September 2015
A mere two years ago, the government introduced universal free school meals for infants. We were delighted at the time - and said so. Evidence from pilot projects showed that while all children benefit from free school meals, low-income children benefit the most.

Let's all have lunch!

11 July 2014
People often lament how the world of politics has very little to do with the ordinary lives of real people. For some parents, at least, that’s about to change. From September, all infant school children will be entitled to a free school meal. Across the country, children from all backgrounds will sit down together to a nutritious, healthy free lunch, fuelling concentration and learning.

The government’s child poverty strategy needs to be more child-focused, more poverty-focused, and more strategic

23 May 2014
This week, the official consultation closed on, potentially, the Coalition’s most important social policy objective– the new child poverty strategy. Running from 2014-17, the draft strategy covers the critical period during which we’d expect to see a big push to meet the statutory target to end child poverty by 2020 – especially given Iain Duncan Smith’s recent reaffirmation that he both remains committed to the target, and expects it to be met.