Zayn Malik urges PM to extend free school meals amid cost of living crisis

Former One Direction star Zayn Malik has called on Rishi Sunak to “give all children living in poverty” a free school meal amid the cost of living crisis.

The singer, 29, has called on the Prime Minister to use his November budget to expand the threshold to include young people from families on Common Credit.

Malik, who relied on free school lunches as a child growing up in Bradford, is supporting the Food Foundation’s Food for the Future campaign.


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Victoria Jones/PA)

In his letter, he wrote: “These children are suffering from lack of concentration, some even have to steal food from the school canteen because they are so hungry but cannot afford lunch.

“They are also feeling shame, which is directly affecting their physical and mental health. I know what that shame feels like, I’ve seen it with my own eyes, growing up in Bradford I lived off the free school meals. Personally, I have experienced the stigma surrounding food insecurity.

“I hope that as we write this letter, we can all ensure that not a single child has to go through this hunger and stigma again because my experience is not unique; it’s a struggle many children in the UK are going through sadly right now. “

According to the Food Foundation, an estimated 800,000 children in the UK are living in poverty but are currently ineligible.

Malik says many parents “have done everything they can” and Government support is “much needed”.

Speaking to Mr Sunak, he added: “As Prime Minister, you have the power to change this.

“Act with good conscience and commit in your Budget on November 17 to give all children living in poverty a free school meal.

“Children’s hunger is not inevitable and should not come down to a political or ideological issue.”

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Marcus Rashford has also campaigned to provide more free school meals (PA)

Malik is the latest celebrity to advocate for wider access to free school meals, alongside England soccer star Marcus Rashford and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Anna Taylor, executive director of the Food Foundation, said: “Zayn’s music has touched the lives of millions.

“We are delighted to be working together on the campaign and he will be an ambassador.

“His own experiences as a child will resonate with many young people in Britain today, whose voices are not being heard.”

As part of the campaign, Malik is also urging people to write to their MPs about the issue.

The Bradford-born singer began her solo career after leaving One Direction in 2015, a year before the group went on an indefinite hiatus.

He shares a daughter Khai, two years old, with American catwalk star Gigi Hadid.

Feed The Future is a campaign led by a coalition of organizations including the Food Foundation, Bite Back 2030 and Jamie Oliver Ltd.

A Government spokesman said: “We have expanded access to free school meals more than any other government in recent decades, now home to around 1.9 million children. em.

“We are also investing up to £24 million in our National School Breakfast Programme, which provides free breakfasts to children in schools in disadvantaged areas.

“In addition, the eight million most vulnerable households will receive at least £1,200 in cost-of-living assistance this year in addition to the benefit of the Energy Price Guarantee, meaning they will be eligible for support beyond the average gain of energy. bill of hundreds of pounds”. Zayn Malik urges PM to extend free school meals amid cost of living crisis

Fry Electronics Team

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