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British school meal portions "made smaller to save money"

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Ah yes, everyone is in this painful economic time together, including young school children. Clearly they need to pay for the sins of the bankers so they can know their place in society, right? But at least the rich are getting tax cuts. The Independent:

School meal portions are being shrunk, leaving children to go hungry, teachers and parents have warned. Smaller portion sizes caused by cost-cutting are reported in schools across the country and are of particular concern, given the increase in the number of impoverished pupils who rely on school lunches as their only hot meal of the day. Primary-age children, in particular, are going hungry after being given lunches that are too small, according to teachers.

The findings of a study by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) were confirmed by individual teachers and parent groups who told The Independent it was a growing problem that had to be addressed. "Children are going hungry in schools and we all know what hunger does to your ability to learn," said Mary Bousted, the ATL's general-secretary. "It is no surprise that, in the current economic climate, there has been an increase in the uptake of free school meals ... For some children, it may be their only hot meal of the day."

Figures from the School Food Trust show that the number of children eligible for free school dinners increased by 43,000 to an estimated 1,055,000 in 2010-11. More than a third of education staff have reported an increase in the take-up of free meals since 2007.
And as one commenter in the original article mentioned, the House of Lords is actually complaining about their subsidized meals and the quality of the smoked salmon. How does such a useless and entitled body still exist?

On the other side of the spectrum, good for Jamie Oliver for diving in and trying to correct the school lunch problem. It's not a flashy subject, but it's an important one.

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