Serving up free school meals in Wandsworth  

Published: Thursday, September 28, 2023

  • Council leader and MP visit local primary school to discuss free school meals.
  • Mayor of London’s scheme has been welcomed by the council.
  • The council has also developed its own package of Cost of Living and school food support.

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Kate Stock, Simon Hogg and Rosena Allin-Khan help out at lunchtime

Children have been sharing their experiences of free school meals with senior Wandsworth politicians. 

Students at Earlsfield Primary School had a visit from Council Leader Simon Hogg, Cabinet Member for Children Kate Stock and local MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, who helped serve them lunch.  

They then talked to the children and to the school’s senior leadership team to learn more about the success of the free school meals programme. Wandsworth has welcomed free school meals for all primary school children funded by the Mayor of London. 

The council has also launched its own Schools Food Strategy to ensure all children can access fresh, healthy, sustainable food. A key part of the strategy is to ensure children of all ages claim free school meals if they are eligible. This is especially important as claiming free school meals can unlock other support, including  help with the cost of purchasing school uniforms, holiday activities and holiday food vouchers. 

Other elements of the plan include using fresh, seasonal produce, running breakfast clubs in some borough schools, engaging schools in food education, cooking and growing activities, paying catering staff fairly and embedding sustainable practices in service provision.  

Kate Stock said: “The school’s pupils and leaders told us what a difference the Mayor of London’s programme has made. It’s a massive help to families struggling to cope financially and means we can be sure our primary school children are getting at least one nutritious hot meal a day.  

“We know that bold and creative work in schools has a huge impact on the health and well-being of our young people. That’s why we have implemented our Schools Food Strategy to reduce food poverty and make Wandsworth a fairer, more compassionate borough.” 

Headteacher Steve Trow was asked for his views