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Please Sadiq, can you feed some kids?

Updated: Jul 1

Over 1 million school children eligible for school meals aren't taking them.

Shocking statistics have revealed that fewer than 20% of children entitled to Free School Meals in London are actually receiving them. Free School Meals provide a lifeline to children from the poorest families, but according to a recent Freedom of Information Request, just 19.6% of eligible primary school children and 19.2% of eligible secondary school children are claiming this benefit. Meaning over 1 million school children eligible for school meals are not receiving them.

Despite this, the Mayor of London has recently launched a campaign for universal Free School Meals, a move that would cost taxpayers more money and provide free meals to families that don’t need them, including the children of millionaires. Emma Best, Health Spokesman for the GLA Conservatives, said:

“Our biggest priority must be to increase the take-up up Free School Meals by those who are already entitled to receive them.

“It is appalling that over 80% of London’s most vulnerable children, who are already entitled to Free School Meals, are not receiving them. With worldwide inflation squeezing the budgets of many families, the Mayor must launch a campaign to increase the awareness and take-up of Free School Meals by those already entitled to them.

“Instead, the Mayor is putting his focus on expanding the scheme to families who are already well-off. He is prioritising the children of millionaires over those from the poorest families. Having just hiked up council tax by 9%, it is clear that Sadiq Khan is completely out-of-touch. Like a reverse Robin Hood, he wants to take from the poor to give to the rich.”

You can check if your child is eligible for Free School Meals by visiting this website:



- The FOI was submitted to the Schools Census Statistics Team on 20th June 2022.

- The raw data can be found here.

- For media requests please contact our Press Team.

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