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Henry Dimbleby calls for universal free school meals

Henry Dimbleby
Henry Dimbleby
23 Feb 2024
Henry Dimbleby, who led the National Food Strategy, gave evidence at the House of Lords Food, Diet and Obesity Committee where he called for universal free school meals.

When speaking at the event, Dimbleby recommended the Government should introduce a ban on unhealthy food advertising and introduce universal free school meals.

He said: “The cut off of free school meals, which then comes with it holiday support also comes with it healthy start early years vouchers is just way too low at £7,400 pre-benefit household income. It’s insane it hasn’t changed for ages.  

“That should be, in my view, available to everyone. I think if you had universal free school meals it would create a cultural change in schools. We don’t make children buy their own books. We don’t get them to pay by the lesson. The culture change would come from doing it universally but at a minimum to everyone on universal credit.

“I would immediately restrict the advertising [of junk food] which is something the Government said they would do but they have pushed it back to 2025. I would restrict the advertising of all of this food not just after the watershed. I would just say you can’t advertise it.”