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Surge in number of UK children applying for free school meals

Poverty campaigners estimate 1 million pupils have recently signed up for first time

There has been a surge in the number of UK children registering for free school meals, with an estimated 1 million pupils recently signing up for the first time, according to food poverty campaigners.

Analysis by the Food Foundation thinktank, released as part of footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to end child food poverty, estimates that as many as 900,000 more children have sought free school meals, on top of the 1.4 million who were already claiming, as the Covid-19 crisis plays havoc with family incomes.

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