Open letter to local councillors – healthy food in the holidays for all children on free school meals

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council

Cllr Rory O’Broin, Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Climate Sustainability

Cllr Will Sweet, Cabinet member for Education and Children’s Services

Ensure every child in Wandsworth eligible for free school meals has access to healthy food in the holidays

Dear Councillors,

We are writing to ask for your commitment to invest in children’s health by improving their access to healthy and nutritious food.

Covid-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities including food insecurity and health inequalities in the UK, with children and families disproportionately affected. We know there is a problem with food insecurity and hunger otherwise the free school meal scheme would not be in place. It is clear that schools are a lifeline for many of our most disadvantaged families, providing children with access to healthy, nutritious food during term time. This doesn’t go away in the holidays.

It is more important than ever that children are ensured the best start in life and have access to fresh, nutritious and culturally appropriate food.

The Wandsworth Council promise of £10,000 in vouchers for the October holidays was simply not enough. This only covered some of the children who have a social worker or are receiving support from Wandsworth’s children’s services department. However, more than 5,700 children receive free school meals in Wandsworth. We welcome the recent funding news from National Government, but still have concerns.

Children need to be provided with nutritious food all year round. Poor nutrition affects physical growth rate and ultimately height. It has also been linked to low concentration levels, cognitive development and under performance academically.

With this in mind we the undersigned back the following three calls to action.

1) Ensure all children eligible for free school meals are able to access food over the Christmas holiday period

2) Commit to ensuring all children eligible for free school meals children are able to access food over the Spring and subsequent half term holidays in 2021

3) Formulate an action plan to target childhood food insecurity and ensure that no child goes hungry

Wandsworth’s children are counting on you!


The Undersigned

Lead Signatory Anna Clark, Partnership Co-ordinator, Wandsworth Food Partnership

Charities and organisations

Orode Faka, Director, R.O.C.K.S International Arts Ltd

Mary-Ann Foxwell, Chief Executive, Citizens Advice Wandsworth

Kemi Akinola, CEO, Be Enriched

Aaron Barbour, Director, Katherine Low Settlement

Nikki Rossner, Fundraising Events Manager, Regenerate, Ashburton Youth Centre

Juliet Snow, Programme manager, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Adopt a School Trust

Stephanie Slater, Founder/CEO,


Kevin Victory, Partner, Hudsons Restaurant, Konnnigans restaurant, Cleavers butchers, Riverside Restaurant

Usama Siddique, Manager, Meat and Shake

Sarah Kettel, Director, Cookies That Count

Vittoria Veltri, Founder and Director of Pasta n’ Play

Matt McClymont, Owner, The Schoolhouse

Support our family

We are committed to building stronger communities and enabling people to challenge themselves and find ways out of isolation through our varied community projects. There are so many ways you can support our work and help us to deliver our services to even more people.

Stay in touch with our KLS newsletter

You are signing up to receive email newsletters from KLS. You can easily un-subscribe at anytime. For information about how we use your personal data and our commitment to protecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy.