How Free School Meals Helped Me & The Changes That Need To Come Next!


Hey Lovelies, 

Back when I was in secondary school, I was very lucky to be given the opportunity to have free school meals. I was provided them due to my father retiring, with advice from the local job centre, due to his age. There so, with a mum who works part-time and a father out of work, I could have them.

At a young age, I didn’t really understand the importance of them. I didn’t know that the meals were making it easier for my family. I didn’t realise how expensive food could be until I saw the amount of money my mum still had to put on my food card, when then free school meals money didn’t cover the cost of the food prices that were at my school.

Having this service was vital in allowing me to be able to eat when I was at school and for many children now, it is a vital service to have a nutritious meal daily. I am so happy that with the help of Marcus Rushford, the government has changed what they were saying and will be giving children food vouchers/food during school holidays.

However, I do have something I would love to see change completely. In every school. I know that money in schools is tight. I know that everyone is struggling right now. But I would love to see schools lower the costs of meals and snacks as a whole. When I first got given free school meals, the costs were covered.

Yet, after a few months of the new service being brought in, my school made the costs of the meals – even sandwiches – higher to get more money. They would charge so much that I was still having to ask my mum monthly to put a bit more cash onto my lunch card to be able to eat even a panini. A meal deal at Tesco being cheaper.

After struggling and feeling bad asking my mum for more money, I stopped going to have lunch. I starved myself all day and never told my mum. I did this to try and save the money I was given on my lunch card, so that I wouldn’t have to ask my mum for extra. When she found this out recently, as I have begun tackling this as one of the reasons my anorexia started, she was horrified I felt this way and that the school had done this. She wishes every day I had told her because she would have spoken out to them about the issues.

I am not ungrateful in any way to the free school meals scheme. It was and is an amazing service. What I want is schools to see the struggles families have. Every single home is different. Every family has their own amounts and abilities. Easing the amount of pressure that they have on the costs of food for their young children would be amazing.

Let’s start an already amazing change with another one lovelies! Let us get school costs lowered and give children and families the ability to ease the pressures of food charges now. We all deserve the right to eat and be able to, especially at school, when our minds our forever being used and energy needed.

Over the next few days, I will hopefully be setting up something that will help us all, so keep a look out for more information and help me make a change for everyone.

Joey X

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