Bidfood director challenges Government to increase funding for school meals

Andy Kemp, Bidfood's sales and marketing director and a champion of the school meals service, has lent his weight to calls for the Government to increase its level of financial support for the industry.

Kemp has written directly to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a number of other leading politicians pointing out that funding for Universal Infant Free School Meals has increased by only 1.7% since its introduction in September 2014.

By contrast, he says, the National Living Wage has increased by 41.8%, the Consumer Price Index by 16.7% and Retail Price Index by 11.8%.

In his letter, and in a presentation yesterday to the All Party Parliamentary Group for School Food, he asks the Government to recognise the ‘impossible task’ facing caterers who can no longer contain the costs of food price inflation and increasing cost to serve without further Government funding.

Kemp said, “Enough is enough and I have been delighted at the support that industry is putting behind this campaign, particularly at a time when budgets for all departments will be squeezed and in action will see organisations and authorities walking away from what is rapidly becoming a loss making sector.

“Should these increases be recognised, then today’s funding would be closer to the range of £2.87 per meal at the lowest scale and £2.97 per meal at the CPI level of which Government measures most indices.”

The full list of Members of Parliament Kemp has written to:
Prime Minister: Boris Johnson
Leader of Labour Party: Sir Keir Starmer
Leader of Liberal Democrats: Sir Ed Davey
Green Party MP: Caroline Lucas
Deputy Prime Minister: Dominic Raab
Shadow Deputy Prime Minister: Angela Rayner
Chancellor: Rishi Sunak
Shadow Chancellor: Rachel Reeves
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities: Michael Gove
Chair of APPG of School Food: Sharon Hodgson MP
Education Minister: Nadhim Zahawi
Shadow Education Minister: Bridget Phillipson
Health Minister: Sajid Javid
Shadow Health Minister: Wes Streeting
Children & Families Minister: Will Quince