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LACA to host Annual School Lunch event at House of Commons

28 Nov 2022
LACA will once again host a Parliamentary reception at the House of Commons on Thursday 1st December to showcase great school food and highlight the financial challenges the industry is facing.

LACA says this event provides a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to spend quality time with MP’s and Government ministers. The event has been made possible thanks to the industry’s biggest supporters Sharon Hodgson MP, Diana Johnson MP and Andrew Gwynne MP.

LACA believes the 2.9% funding increase for Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) announced in June was insufficient to ensure that as many children as possible have access to a hot, nutritious school meal.

A spokesperson for LACA, commented: “There has never been a more important time to host this event, with Christmas fast approaching and the cost-of-living crisis hitting vulnerable families the most. It is imperative that no child falls through the cracks and goes hungry – by not being entitled to a Free School Meal, but unable to afford a paid lunch.

During the event LACA will be:

  • Championing for an urgent increase in funding per meal for both Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) and Free School Meals (FSM) to address the current cost of living crisis. LACA are also calling for this to increase annually with inflation as a necessary investment in children’s futures.
  • Aiming to get an extension of FSM’s for all children whose parents are entitled to Universal Credit.
  • Asking for funding for school meals to be ring-fenced to ensure funding follows the child. The budget is currently issued to schools who do not always pass the full amount to the caterer to provide school meals.
  • Reminding MP’s how good school meals really are, and how they support local businesses and employ 1000’s of people across country.

LACA conducted a survey of school meal providers in September, the results painted a stark picture of the challenges facing the school food industry across England and Wales. According to the survey, 91% of respondents are experiencing food shortages, with over 60% saying that this has not improved since the last survey in May 2022.

Further, prices have risen by 30% since May, with some caterers experiencing 50% price increases. Surging costs and shortages have led to some members telling LACA that they may struggle to meet the school food standards if more funding is not provided urgently.

Without supporters and fantastic suppliers this event would not have been possible. LACA would like to take the time to thank all of their members who have given up their time to champion this event. At the reception LACA will be serving great food thanks to Chartwells, Tamar Fresh and Westminster School. The food will be served by the current and past SCOTY winners.


All guests will be given a goody bag at the event with information about the day and also festive treats supplied by Rochdale Borough Council and Edsential school meals service in Cheshire West and Chester.

LACA would also like to thank Juniper who will be bringing children from Upton Cross Primary School along to the event. Equipment has been kindly provided by Harfield, Parry and Falcon.