All schools should provide food meeting adequate nutritional food standards, the Bishop of Bath and Wells has said.
Bishop Peter Price said the need for good quality food in schools was particularly pressing given the growing number of people having to resort to food banks.
At question time in the House of Lords he said he had recently visited a church school that was hoping to become an academy and had reinstated its kitchen and was “providing excellent food not only for the school but for those in the locality”.
He said he had also been involved in discussions about “the increasing number of young people whose family food is being taken from food banks around our country today”.
And he asked education minister Lord Hill of Oareford: “Do you agree that the priority is to ensure that all school food provides adequate nutritional standards in the light of the fact that too many of our most vulnerable people are experiencing a need to get food from food banks in the 21st century?”
Lord Hill replied that although standards were in place and the nutritional quality of food had improved, “the take-up of that food by children has not increased at the same rate”.
He added: “So better food is available but the children are not always exercising their choice to eat it. One of the challenges for us is to make sure that children understand that eating healthy food is good for them.”