Thank you to those who have contacted me about the School Breakfast Bill.
I agree with you that all children should have access to a good breakfast before school for the benefit of their learning, attendance, behaviour and attainment. I know that my Ministerial colleagues also share this goal and are committed to ensuring that no child starts the school day hungry. It is welcome that many support programmes are already in place that provide healthy and nutritious breakfasts to many thousands of children across the country.
The Government has spearheaded numerous policy initiatives to ensure that no child goes hungry, such as the National School Breakfast (NSB) Programme which was extended in January with £11.8m of additional Government funding. So far, 1,800 school breakfast clubs have been created by the Programme which now offers support to over 280,000 children in some of the most deprived areas of England.
Funding for the NSB Programme beyond March 2021 is due to be evaluated in this autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review. In addition to the NSB Programme, £9m of funding was provided for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme over the Summer. This initiative enabled over 50,000 children to access healthy meals and enriching activities during the holidays.
I understand that Ministers are also considering the recommendations put forward recently in Part One of the National Food Strategy.
I hope that this has reassured you that substantial action, including unprecedented additional support during the Covid-19 pandemic, is already being taken to ensure that children do not go hungry.