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Free school meals and summer holidays

(347 Posts)
McNewPants2013 Fri 19-Jul-13 20:51:00

I was thinking about this today.

I will have an extra £10 per week dude to not paying for school meals, but if people are entitled to FSM I can see many families struggling to provide these extra meals at home.

Do you think that school canteens should open or the parents get extra money to cover the shortfall.

JazzDalek Sat 20-Jul-13 15:46:12

I should add that the limit of three vouchers per person is not in any way a judgment, it is purely due to the fact that demand is high and food banks don't have the necessary resources to help as much as is needed.

I do think more practical parenting classes talking about getting through the summer holidays on a budget, and good, nutritious, easy and cheap ways to feed a family would be good and helpful - run during last weeks of term in schools during school hours ?

MinimalistMommi Sat 20-Jul-13 15:47:20

Im I don't object to free meals for hungry children.
But isn't it better to teach the main provider how to cook healthy meals on very tight budget?

Why keep handing out fish when you can supply a rod and they can fish for themselves springs to mind?

MinimalistMommi Sat 20-Jul-13 15:48:04

Here's an example of a health soup that feeds four for 10p a serving:

MinimalistMommi Sat 20-Jul-13 15:48:18


alemci Sat 20-Jul-13 15:51:45

ok Jaz dalek but at least that would be one solution.

ImNotBloody14 Sat 20-Jul-13 15:53:27

There are still the ones that will sell the rod and the kids wont eat. No matter how much you do to get people self sufficient in terms of managing money etc, there will always be people who dont make sure their dcs get fed and those dcs need, no deserve to be fed. There will always be a need for free school meals.

I agree classes/ workshops are a way forward aslong as they arent replacing the fsm that already exist. They will always be needed

ImNotBloody14 Sat 20-Jul-13 15:54:53

To be clear- i dont think worshops are better alternative yo free meals- j think they should be in addition to free meals.

MinimalistMommi Sat 20-Jul-13 15:56:16

Im which is why I said up thread that the food needs to get directly to their stomachs, how to do that during school holidays is problematic.

MinimalistMommi Sat 20-Jul-13 15:58:42

I didn't say for a minute that healthy cooking workshops should replace FSM.
But seriously, if these workshops were provided would the parents that are actually allowing their children to go hungry in the first place(parents that choose fags over food, not all parents on benefits I want to make clear)actually turn up for those workshops. I sincerely doubt it! sad

ImNotBloody14 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:02:10

I dont actually think it is problematic if it had proper govt support. Yes there would be issues to overcome and work round but these kids manage to get to school every week day, if schools were running a 2 hour summer scheme like the one my ds attended ( free place because he gets FSM) and offered a hot meal whilst there ( or option to take your own lunch for dcs who werent on FSM) then it wouldnt be long before those fsm children were getting their hot meal through the summer months.

I think those that are feeding poorly but just about adequately might go and learn a lot, but agree that maybe those whose children are actually going hungry may need other - more direct ? - support.

ImNotBloody14 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:03:54

Yes that was my point mm. Those who choose the fags over food wouldnt attend courses which is why there needs to be free meals anyway with the course as an additional source of support for those that want it.

ImNotBloody14 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:05:15

Btw- i dont know if surestart still do this but a few years ago in my area they ran a 6 week cooking skills course. Obviously not all areas fall within surestart zones though.

That sounds like a great scheme I'm - a two hour mid-day session with lunch included. The play and social aspect, and the support to the family from other adults would be great too.

MinimalistMommi Sat 20-Jul-13 16:08:25

Totally agree with everything you're saying Im

ImNotBloody14 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:11:58

Just to be clear my sons scheme didnt offer a meal- just a snack of biscuit or toast and juice but i could easily see how it could work with a meal instead. Yes more costs of staff, food etc but worth it i think and i would happily volunteer to clean, supervise, wash dishes, whatever. I know others couldnt for various reasons, just saying i would, i know we are lucky to have what we do here

MinimalistMommi Sat 20-Jul-13 16:16:10

Im I agree, it could be done. Large vats of soup can be made for next to nothing. As long as its food, I don't think even variety would matter during the holidays. Just the fact that they are fed.

MinimalistMommi Sat 20-Jul-13 16:18:05

I guess there would still be children that are 'underground' and hungry. I know if families at the school that my children attend that can't even bother to get up to take their children to school in term time and their attendance rate is very low. I'm assuming (hoping) they're under SS radar if the head is aware of it.

ImNotBloody14 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:19:36

Exactly. It could be done. Im sure there were many objections raised when FSMs were first suggested. And i'll bet there were real logistical issues that had to be ironed out but that the same with anything new. Trial and error til you get it right. It could work. You just need to get the right people to support it.

ImNotBloody14 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:25:53

In NI they would be under the attendance officer attached to the education and library board for that area.

ImNotBloody14 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:25:53

In NI they would be under the attendance officer attached to the education and library board for that area.

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