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Cornish Children Missing Out On Free School Dinners

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1:12pm 8th March 2013

More than ten thousand children living in poverty in Cornwall are missing out on free school meals.

The Children's Society says it is because one of their parents has a job, even if it does not bring in very much.

The worst hit areas are Camborne, Redruth and Newquay.

Ellen Broome from the charity said:

"It is usually because their parents are in work and that's pretty much regardless of how little their parents earn. We think that it's completely unacceptable that over 85 thousand children in the South West are missing out on free school meals, which we know benefit the children and the parents.

"Many families are having to make very difficult choices between being able to afford the very basics. Can they heat the home? Can they buy their children's shoes for school?  Or can they buy them a hot meal? Free school meals make a significant difference to parents' abilities to make ends meet."

Chief Executive Matthew Reed added: "It is shocking that huge numbers of children in poverty in the South West are missing out on a free school meal. Every child in poverty should be entitled to this vital support.

"We know from the families we work with up and down the country that parents are struggling to make ends meet.  Right now, the government is reconsidering which children will be entitled to get free school meals. We urge the government to take this opportunity to make sure all children in poverty can get a free school meal."

Here are the statistics for your area:

St Ives, 56% of children in poverty (1700)

Camborne and Redruth, 56% of children in poverty (2100)

Cornwall South East, 56% of children in poverty (1600)

Cornwall North, 55% of children in poverty (1700)

St Austell and Newquay, 55% of children in poverty (2100)

Truro and Falmouth, 54% of children in poverty (1500)    

1:12pm 8th March 2013

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