Free school meals and summer holidays

(347 Posts)
McNewPants2013 Fri 19-Jul-13 20:51:00

I was thinking about this today.

I will have an extra £10 per week dude to not paying for school meals, but if people are entitled to FSM I can see many families struggling to provide these extra meals at home.

Do you think that school canteens should open or the parents get extra money to cover the shortfall.

IneedAyoniNickname Fri 19-Jul-13 20:58:39

I was thinking about this just now. My dc have fsm, so I have to provide 20 meals per week more than normal, for 7 weeks. I reckon I'll end up living on rice/pasta/bread for most of the summer, but the dc will be fed properly.
Do I think I should get extra money to cover this? No! although I'd take it if it were offered

SaucyJack Fri 19-Jul-13 21:01:17

No, and no.

That's because I don't see it as a shortfall. It's the temporary loss of an nice extra bonus.

Not sure what could be done on a national level, but I do know high school near us have arrange food bank deliveries/collection for their FSM pupils. And a local church is providing a free packed lunch for FSM pupils at my children primary school.

Are you joking saucyjack.

How is it an 'extra bonus' for some children to be feed.

Arisbottle Fri 19-Jul-13 21:04:48

It does worry me that children go hungry because of this. Perhaps if schools were used for holiday clubs the children could be fed this way

phantomnamechanger Fri 19-Jul-13 21:05:22

theres a MNer who has got a tent in a field lined up and is planning on cooking meals for the kids in her area for exactly this reason. I can't remember who it is, and cant remember whether she has fundraised or begged for donations etc, but credit to her for doing something. I think food banks will see an increase in demand over this period.

cheerfulweather Fri 19-Jul-13 21:05:32

That sounds like a nice idea, wheredidIputit.

kim147 Fri 19-Jul-13 21:06:16

There was a report on Look North tonight saying food banks are expecting an increase this summer.

But it's hard for lots of people who aren't entitled to FSM but still struggle with the cost of summer.

Tough times.

Bogeyface Fri 19-Jul-13 21:06:51

That's because I don't see it as a shortfall. It's the temporary loss of an nice extra bonus

What the ACTUAL FUCK?!

FSM is the difference between some children being fed and not eating! To families already on the breadline and struggling to manage they can be a literal life saver. What if, for the school holidays, so a quarter of the year, your food bills more than doubled for no other reason that it is the holidays, how would you manage then?

That is the most fucked up thing I have ever read!

Euphemia Fri 19-Jul-13 21:07:00

I guess the system is costed for the 38 weeks of the school year and would be unaffordable to run over the summer/year round.

daisychicken Fri 19-Jul-13 21:08:41

Our school have sent emails/letters out saying that families eligible for FSM can get vouchers from the council help point for the food bank over the summer holidays.

phantomnamechanger Fri 19-Jul-13 21:08:41

"extra bonus" you must be joking.
have you really no idea that for some children it is the only proper meal they get a day, without which they would be iller and more malnourished than they are.
can you really not see that some parents will struggle to find the money to feed their DC this holiday, never mind thinking about budgeting for days out, treats, new uniform, emergencies

EeTraceyluv Fri 19-Jul-13 21:09:04

At the risk of sounding like a rabid DM reader, we send or two with packed lunches because, despite working, we can't afford school dinners. No change here - oh except for childcare, which presumably, the majority of people who get FSM don't need to worry about? Luckily, we have sorted most of it out, and won't have to pay.

Euphemia Fri 19-Jul-13 21:10:03

Perhaps if schools were used for holiday clubs the children could be fed this way.

Would the neediest families be able to afford holiday clubs? If they were to be funded from the public purse, which one? Council? Government?

No answers here - just thinking about how this could work. smile

SaucyJack Fri 19-Jul-13 21:10:38

I was a single mother on IS for five years.

Not only did we not starve in the school holidays, I didn't actual take up the FSM in the first place.

Some of you need to stop with all the middle class hand wringing.

Most people on benefits on perfectly decent parents who are more than capable of making sure their own children get fed without your supervision.

SaucyJack Fri 19-Jul-13 21:11:03

scuse typos.

phantomnamechanger Fri 19-Jul-13 21:12:39

SJ -well bully for you.
You are not speaking for all FSM families, not by a long streak

youbethemummylion Fri 19-Jul-13 21:13:47

I am not entitled to FSM I will be paying out more each day for holiday childcare than I am bringing in. If people in receipt of FSM are going to get extra help in the holidays I think this should also apply to working parents who cannot cover the cost of holiday childcare.

cheerfulweather Fri 19-Jul-13 21:14:04

But that cannot be the case for everybody, decent or otherwise, saucyjack. I'm ashamed I'd never considered what happens in the school holidays, so am glad for this thread.

phantomnamechanger Fri 19-Jul-13 21:14:09

SJ -but because you did not rely on FSM in term time, there would have been no change to your food bill in holiday time. imagine your food bill having to rise by £30 or more a week when money is already tight.

Bogeyface Fri 19-Jul-13 21:17:40

SJ As someone who's children have only just come off FSM after 9 months of them thanks to redundancy, I can tell you that there is no middle class hand wringing from me.

Just because you manage doesnt mean that everyone else does, you dont know my situation. FYI I had a mortgage to cover out of my benefits, which meant that I was immediately worse off than someone renting as HB pays a teeny amount towards the interest, which is naff all at the moment, and I have to find the repayment for the capital loan. My children would have been fed, of course they would, but it was a damned sight easier with them having FSM. I am lucky, we are now a working family, but I cant imagine who much harder it would be for those who are already struggling to suddenly have to buy so much more with no more money every week.

HappyDoll Fri 19-Jul-13 21:18:40

It is not a right, it is a benefit.
It has been asked how can people budget for days outs and treats when struggling to feed their children? Sorry, why exactly are you thinking about days out and treats when you can't feed you children?
FSM mitigates the expense of providing an out-of-home meal which are often far more expensive than a portion from the family meal. There is absolutely no reason why parents should not be expected to feed their own children when they are in their home.
Well said saucyjack

CharlieAlphaKiloEcho Fri 19-Jul-13 21:19:38

My DC get FSM but I would never expect to have food provided for them during the holidays.

I make sure I plan in the run up to the holidays and stash extra things in preparation.

I use a website selling discontinued and short/out of date stuff and have found some great bargains - things like 10 packs of savoury rice for £1. Really great for lunch at home or pack it up for the park.

Also got 10 tins of mandarins in juice for £1. My son would live on those alone!

I do notice the cost but just work harder to budget it.

Bogeyface Fri 19-Jul-13 21:21:07

There is absolutely no reason why parents should not be expected to feed their own children when they are in their home.

And where is this food to come from? Where is the money to buy this food to come from? Do you think that people who are already on the bones of their arses thanks to cuts in benefit and fuel poverty can just pull tenners out of their arses?

Food banks will be overwhelmed, and thousands of children will be desperately hungry. That is fact and whether you like it or not, you live in a country where that is happening and you have just put your cross in the "I dont give a fuck, I'm alright Jack" box.

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