"This week The New Local Government Network, an independent think-tank, suggested that cuts in central government grants to local authorities could, among other things, lead to the scrapping of school meals."
About 50% of the children at our school have school dinners (no idea how many of those are a free entitlement), our school canteen has won awards, my DD has limited tates in packed lunches but will eat everything the school canteen provides so I want School Meals to continue but I'm not sure I can say we need them.
Free school meals for all lasted 5 years (1944-49), the requirement to provide every child with a hot meal was removed in 1980, apparently they only have to provide school meals to those entitled to free ones so I don't think it's safe to assume it won't happen.
I've been thinking about it on the way to and from work (in a school canteen as it happens) and did a bit more googling. A report by The Children's Food trust shows that 81.8% (primary schools) and 70.6% (secondary) of those entitled to free school meals have them. For paid school meals the uptake is much lower 36.3% at Primary and 33.6% for secondary. To those on free school meals this looks pretty needed to me.
A school is a workplace, the occupants are there for six+ hours a day, most of them are not allowed off the premises and that alone means there should be some provision of food. Whether it's subsidised or not is debatable.