City of York 16.10.23

Council Education chief to start Free School Meals conversation

City of York Council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education is to meet with parents and the wider school community at Westfield Primary in York to discuss the possible piloting of Free School Meals at the school.

The City Council’s new Four-Year Plan – ‘One City, for All’ – makes a commitment to starting “the journey towards becoming an anti-poverty city within a decade, including supporting young people and families, reducing food insecurity and exploring the benefits of free school meals for all primary school children”.

The Council is now set to begin delivering on that commitment through plans for a Free School Meals Pilot.

Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, Cllr Bob Webb said,

“We are all too aware of the impacts of the cost of living crisis for large numbers of York residents, and of the impact of austerity on young people in our schools, and we were elected on a promise to support families through these tough times. Our Council Plan embeds those promises and our commitments to Equality, Affordability and Health.

“Giving children the best start in education and in life is not only the right thing to do for them and their families, but the whole of our city as we set them on a track to success which builds York’s future citizens. Our aim is to mobilise York to support our children through  the essential nutrition they need to fulfil their potential and a pilot would be one of the first steps on that journey.

“Making sure we do Free School Meals the right way, by working with schools, children, parents and the wider school community is essential if we are going to get the very best from a pilot.”

Consultation will ask parents what worries they have about food provision, about worries about the cost of living – specifically food price rises and about the impact they think a Free School Meals pilot might have on them and their children.