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Free Meals

(160 Posts)
midgey Fri 23-Oct-20 17:53:21

MPs voted against free school meals over half term, while having subsidised meals themselves.

GagaJo Fri 23-Oct-20 17:55:12

I've already signed this and shared it on my social media.

midgey Fri 23-Oct-20 17:58:32

At least the Speaker closed the bars at 10!

EllanVannin Fri 23-Oct-20 18:07:12

I've signed the

kittylester Fri 23-Oct-20 18:08:18

I have too!

eazybee Fri 23-Oct-20 18:13:06

I haven't.
School meals come out of the Education budget, and it is are hard-pressed enough to provide education, let alone social welfare.

Marydoll Fri 23-Oct-20 18:32:25

As a former teacher in one of the highest areas of deprivation in Scotland, I have witnessed food poverty first hand!
Many a time I made toast in the morning for pupils whose last meal had been the free one they had at lunchtime the day before.
Those MPs who voted against it should be ashamed of themselves.

midgey Fri 23-Oct-20 18:32:50

Eazybee did you read the petition?

Lucca Fri 23-Oct-20 18:43:07


Eazybee did you read the petition?

Apparently not.
I have signed.

Doodledog Fri 23-Oct-20 19:08:25

For most of my life I have lived with government by a party I didn't vote for, but understand that that's the price you pay for living in a democracy. I know that not everyone shares my political beliefs, and that's fine. Well, maybe not 'fine', but it's how it works.

But how this lot can vote against feeding poor children in the first place defeats me, and how they can do so whilst benefitting from subsidised food and drink themselves just beggars belief. We'll never know whether they would have closed the (subsidised) bar before they were forced to do so, or would have refused the £3k pay rise for which they were in line, but based on this rank hypocrisy it seems unlikely.

I just don't understand how even the most dyed in the wool free-market capitalist can sleep at night knowing that children are going hungry and that they have voted to stop them from getting at least one meal a day. I don't understand how their voters can sleep at night either.

Gwyneth Fri 23-Oct-20 19:27:14

Children often go hungry because their parents choose to spend their money on other things. I agree this is not always the case but during a long career working with children I have seen parents who both smoke and drink heavily as well as having the latest technology. Consequently there is no money left for food. Children should not be going without food but providing more and more from the State only encourages more dependency from parents and they continue with their lifestyle unaffected. I believe a packet of cigarettes now costs around £12.00 and if both parents smoke this amounts to £24.00 a day which could be spent on food. I honestly don’t know where the answer lies only pointing out what I have seen over the years.

Grandmabatty Fri 23-Oct-20 19:37:06

So Gwyneth you want to punish the children for their parents? I think it's a terrible situation where children go hungry in a country where millions wasted. And like Marydoll, I taught in a school with a high free meal entitlement. These children went hungry during holidays.

Gwyneth Fri 23-Oct-20 19:47:51


I didn’t say that at all read my post!!! To repeat .....I said that I didn’t know what the answer was and I also said that children should not go hungry but parents also need to take some responsibility for their children otherwise why bother having them in the first place. I also said very clearly that I was speaking from my own experience which is obviously different to yours. Is no one else allowed to say anything different from you?

vegansrock Fri 23-Oct-20 19:50:35

Some parents are neglectful or inadequate but that doesn’t make it ok that their children go hungry. Maybe if a Tory donor offered to make free school meals, whether or not they know anything about catering, they could be bunged a few million quid.

Astral Fri 23-Oct-20 19:51:35

This is devastating, even more devastating to teach children that they are worth nothing and not cared about in all settings. School has a huge impact in a child's life. That's a place where children can be taught they are all equal and valued. We cannot expect these children to grow up with any pride and respect by refusing to give them any.

I can't believe anyone could agree to any child going hungry no matter the cost. Especially if that is based on what the parents may or may not be doing with their money. It's writing children off before they even have a chance.

Marydoll Fri 23-Oct-20 19:56:05

I agree, that may be true in some cases, but let me give a different scenario, Gwyneth.
Husband commits suicide, barely literate mother takes on three cleaning jobs at the minimum wage (that's all she could find) to keep a roof over her head and feed her two boys.
Doesn't smoke or drink, just wants to do the best for her family. She was a broken and exhausted woman and so grateful for what little help she got.
Should someone like her, be denied support over the school holidays?

I was a free school meals child, who got a clothing grant to pay for the very expensive school uniform for my convent grammar school, where the nuns had no conception of what real poverty was. I felt so ashamed of being the poor girl, who had to stand up in the class every day and say I was a free meal. My mother had to swallow her pride and claim for those meals. I never told her about the humiliation I experienced.

My father started work at ten years old, as a van boy with a laundry and had to retire at from his job as an ambulance driver due to chronic ill health.
My mother, a highly qualified nursing sister had to give up her job to look after him. There was no attendance allowance etc in those days. The only income was a invalidity benefit, he was too young to access his pension.
They neither smoked or drank.
Not every parent of those who get free school meals, drinks or smokes.
I hope now you can understand why I am so passionate about this. Not everyone sets out to sponge off the state
As they say, Walk in my shoes or even better, my mother's shoes.

kircubbin2000 Fri 23-Oct-20 19:58:35

I see a lot of businesses have made up packs of oats,pasta and veg.However many parents can't or won't cook and as for the fruit and veg my grandson would go hungry before he tried those! I think a lot will be wasted.

Grandmabatty Fri 23-Oct-20 19:59:44

If I misunderstood stood you Gwyneth I apologise. However you say families shouldn't be dependent on the state. And you quite clearly link parents smoking and drinking to children going hungry. In my experience, that was rarely the reason why children needed free school meals. And at no point did I say people couldn't hold different views to mine. You appear to be rather nettled by my views.

Callistemon Fri 23-Oct-20 20:07:24

Thanks for posting this, midgey
I intended to but am having a few IT problems

Fuchsiarose Fri 23-Oct-20 20:16:34

Wise words Marydoll. And the school meals debacle has been on the agenda since we were at primary school. I remember the different queues for the haves and the have nots. We ourselves found that we were in the queue when another of our fathers business ventures failed. Neither of our parents drank or smoked so which banner do we fall in as poor kids needing a meal. Personally, I feel all kids need free meals at primary school, as it's when their bodies and brains are in need of good quality nutrition.

Gwyneth Fri 23-Oct-20 20:21:15

Grandmabatty not ‘nettled’ by your views at all just wanted to point out that we have all had different experiences and should be free to express them as part of a discussion in a polite way of course! Thank you for your apology.

growstuff Fri 23-Oct-20 20:24:29

Gwyneth Did they have enormous TVs and multiple holidays as well?

Stephenmarra Fri 23-Oct-20 20:25:38

Sighed the
The politicians should hang their heads in shame not voting this through.

growstuff Fri 23-Oct-20 20:26:26


I see a lot of businesses have made up packs of oats,pasta and veg.However many parents can't or won't cook and as for the fruit and veg my grandson would go hungry before he tried those! I think a lot will be wasted.

How do you know? Do you have CCTV in their kitchens? Or is it what you've heard/seen/read?

Marydoll Fri 23-Oct-20 20:28:25

Our views may also be influenced and coloured by our own personal experiences: where and who we taught as teachers, how we were brought up and perhaps having the experience of living in extreme poverty or conversely living comfortably in a very affluent family.
They are all valid.