Marcus Rashford and Jamie Oliver demand ‘urgent review’ on free school meals
Dame Emma Thompson also signed, along with more than 40 other major NGOs, charities and educational leaders.
The letter calls for a policy review to be debated in Parliament to help families below the poverty line, improve nutritional value and end the stigma for the poorest pupils.
The document says: "We strongly feel that now is the right moment for you to step back and review the policy in more depth.
"Free school meals are a very important part of the safety net that protects children from impoverished families from hunger and poor nutrition.
"The process will require collaboration from politicians in all the devolved nations with responsibility for school food in their regions, and must involve close consultation with children and young people, as well as teachers, charities, NGOs, frontline catering staff and school meals’ service providers.
"It should draw on evidence of food insecurity and health inequalities."
While free schools meals continue in all the devolved nations, the UK Government has repeatedly resisted doing so during school holidays.
SNP MP Neil Gray has now praised the 23-year-old Manchester United star and called for Westminster to listen.
He said: "The campaign by Marcus Rashford in standing up for struggling families and seeking to provide free school meals deserves all the praise it gets.
"The UK Government must heed the calls by Rashford and others to look into fixing the system and to engage with campaigners meaningfully.
"Last year, the Scottish Government committed to continue free school meals in Scotland over the winter break, and all holidays up to and including Easter as well.
"And, at our party conference, the Deputy First Minister pledged to ensure that every primary school pupil will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch, all year round if the party is re-elected in the Holyrood elections.
“We will continue to tackle inequality and hardship with the restricted financial levers available to us.”
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