I remember being in primary school, you could get a warm lunch with vegetables, carbs, protein and so on. You'd also get a dessert, that would often involve fruit.
Basically, at primary school being on free school lunches meant you got a balanced and healthy warm meal.
However, at high school that changes. The amount of money given means you can afford something like pasta and cheese with a drink, or a sandwich, fruit and a drink. Suddenly they are not very balanced or super healthy.
The idea of keeping funding going through college and further education is certainly a step in the right direction. Just because somebody turns 16 and chooses to go to college does not mean their parents can suddenly afford to give them a warm meal or provide them with money for anything for lunch.
For me it was possible, because I received Education Maintenance Allowance, but since that was cut a lot more students are struggling to deal with the costs of further education.
This small step proposed is one in the right direction, as it means that some people will at least get a secured meal a day, but it is not enough. The food they are able to afford needs to be looked into, to ensure that it is healthy enough for the person receiving it to not only focus during lessons but to be able to continue to grow, develop and not get ill over the coming years.
The reason that a lot of people cannot afford food in college or other FE institutes needs looking into, such as the fact that a lot of places have private contractors coming in, supplying the food and cooking it - rather than the institute having direct control over it, they do, whatever they say, end up spending more money on it.
This also leads to a lack of control in them having a say about what food is provided at what cost, as they have signed the food away on a contract for a certain amount of years.
The simple reality is, school lunches being free to students in need are a life saver, help students to grow and achieve what they need. However they are not the most healthy or most reasonably priced things out there.
Extending the scheme is a start, but if they think that will rectify the crisis regarding children being able to eat a good quality meal until they leave education and get a job or proper funding, then they are very wrong.
There is a long way to go, not that they will listen enough to care. They just care about doing good in theory rather than practice.
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