Number of youngsters in receipt of free school meals in Rotherham up 68 per cent

The number of Rotherham pupils in receipt of free school meals has increased by 68 per cent since 2018, new figures show.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 3:31 pm

In the year to May 2018, 6,896 youngsters were in receipt of free school meals – that had skyrocketed to 11,621 by the year to May 2022 – a rise of 68 per cent.

The UK as a whole has seen an increase in the number of pupils who qualify for free school meals – 22.5 per cent of pupils now qualify, up from 20.8 per cent a year earlier – just under 1.9 million pupils.

Inflation has led to soaring costs, including energy and food prices, with many struggling to make ends meet.

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In the year to May 2018, 6,896 youngsters were in receipt of free school meals - that had skyrocketed to 11,621 by the year to May 2022 - a rise of 68 per cent

John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne said: “These figures show the need for free school meals is soaring.

“The cost of living crisis is really hurting families and decisions made in Downing Street – like cuts to Universal Credit, lack of help with bigger energy bills and punishing tax rises – are pushing more working people to the brink.

“Thank goodness schools are stepping in to make sure kids are fed.”

Sarah Champion, Mp for Rotherham, said: “Rising numbers of children needing free school meals is yet another indicator of just how hard families are finding it to make ends meet.’

“With inflation soaring, energy and fuel prices reaching record highs and food prices climbing sharply, more and more people are going to struggle just to get by.’

“This is a crisis created in Whitehall and the Government must do far more to help people in the face of these unprecedented pressures.”