Tesco chair joins Bite Back 2030’s campaign for free school meals

Tesco chair, John Allan has joined the Bite Back 2030 campaign which is calling on the government to extend free school meals to all children living in poverty.

The group, which is run by young people, has been demanding an extension to free school meal support since the end of 2022 and in January, delivered over 250,000 petition signatures to the government.

Now backed by the leading retailers chair, Allan said that improving young people’s employability skills and kick-starting their careers, “is a cornerstone of a successful business.”

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“It’s astounding that before they even get a chance to begin their careers with us, hundreds of thousands of young people living in poverty are being held back by a policy failure that denies them their most basic right: access to a nutritious and sustaining meal in school.”

He said there’s a “growing body of evidence and testimony” uncovered by the youth-led movement which “points to the positive impact that access to nutritious food can have on academic performance.”

“For those that wish to monetise this basic right of children, research from PwC found for every £1 invested in extending free school meals, £1.38 would be returned to the economy resulting in £8.9 billion in core social, health and educational benefits over 20 years.”

He added that “the case for action is overwhelmingly popular. It seems like an economic, political and moral no brainer.”

“In a political landscape where these are hard to come by, I hope the government will recognise this opportunity.”



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