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7 March 2013, 06:00
New figures say more than 28,000 children in poverty in Suffolk and Norfolk are not getting free school meals.
The Children’s Society, through its Fair and Square campaign, is calling on the government to make free school meals available to all children in poverty.
Many low-income families are unable to get free school meals simply because their parents are working – no matter how little they earn.
The Children’s Society Chief Executive Matthew Reed said: “It is shocking that huge numbers of children in poverty in the East of England are missing out on a free school meal. Every child in poverty should be entitled to this vital support.
“We know from the families we work with up and down the country that parents are struggling to make ends meet. Right now, the government is reconsidering which children will be entitled to get free school meals. We urge the government to take this opportunity to make sure all children in poverty can get a free school meal.”
Across the country every day, more than half of the 2.2 million school children living in poverty in England miss out on a free school meal. Of these, 700,000 are not even entitled to one – often because their parents work, regardless of how little they earn.