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Tom Kerridge: Free school meals should be part and parcel of education

The TV chef said it is his ‘priority’ to ensure that all under-privileged children receive free school meals.

Mike Bedigan
Wednesday 01 March 2023 04:53 GMT
Tom Kerridge: Free school meals should be part and parcel of education (Gemma Bell and Company/PA)
Tom Kerridge: Free school meals should be part and parcel of education (Gemma Bell and Company/PA)

Tom Kerridge says it is his “priority” to ensure that all under-privileged children receive free school meals.

The TV chef said such benefits should be “part and parcel” of education, and called for the children of households on Universal Credit to be given free school meals.

Kerridge, who received free school meals himself as a child, also criticised MPs who voted against such measures, while benefiting from subsidised food in the House of Commons.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, he said: “The priority for me is making sure everybody has a school meal. It should be part and parcel of education.

“We already know that these kids are from the most vulnerable parts of society.

“If they’re not getting a free school meal they’re probably being sent with no lunch or a packed lunch.

“That lunch doesn’t tick any of the boxes of nutritional values, of sustainability, in terms of child growth, health, nutrition.”

Kerridge is known for his appearance on shows including Great British Menu, MasterChef and Saturday Kitchen.

The priority for me is making sure everybody has a school meal. It should be part and parcel of education.

Tom Kerridge

He also has his own series How to Lose Weight For Good and Top Of The Shop, both for the BBC.

Kerridge has previously called for the Government to commit to expanding eligibility for free school meals, alongside major UK supermarkets and fellow celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

It comes as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan unveiled a scheme to offer all primary kids in the capital free meals from September.

Commenting on Mr Khan’s scheme, Kerridge told the Mirror: “The reality is we have people that go to work, that have full-time jobs, perhaps even two jobs, who still have to qualify for Universal Credit, who are using food banks.

“They aren’t lazy. These are people who are really struggling.”

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