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Chair of APPG writes letter to Education Secretary concerning school meals

11 Oct 2021
Sharon Hodgson, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group, sent a letter to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi regarding the ‘alarming situation’ facing school food providers and the 1.7 million children in England who receive free school meals.

In the letter Hodgson said: “As you will have seen in the nation press, reports suggest the national shortage of lorry drivers, a lack of staff and import delays have meant that ISS, one of the UK’s largest canteen suppliers, has created contingency plans asking its school catering staff to stockpile food resources. This is deeply concerning.

“ISS has told the schools it supplies that this situation is going to worsen and will continue through the winter until at least February. As Education Secretary it is vital you take urgent action to find a solution to this situation before issues worsen.

“The picture facing school caterers is alarming. The situation will have adverse effects on the learning and development of our young people as they catch up and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

“The latest developments will also impact on the school meals workforce who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to provide this essential service.”

She concludes the letter by highlighting the school food sector must be ‘protected and supported’ because it is vital to the nation’s health.