Sunderland MP scoops award for free school meals campaign

MP Sharon Hodgson with Jamie Robbins, Managing Director of H2O Publishing and Hilary Hadley, Business Development Manager at Nestle Professional.
MP Sharon Hodgson with Jamie Robbins, Managing Director of H2O Publishing and Hilary Hadley, Business Development Manager at Nestle Professional.
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A Sunderland MP has scooped a national award for her work on campaigning for free school meals.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, has won the Educatering Mag Special Award for her work on Universal Infant Free School Meals.

It is a real honour to have received this award

Sharon Hodgson

She was specifically praised for her role in committing then Prime Minister, David Cameron, to protect funding for UIFSM after it was revealed that the scheme was going to be scrapped.

Mrs Hodgson set up the All Party Parliamentary Group on School Food, which she chairs, and was instrumental in the success of the Save Universal Free School Meals campaign when there were plans to axe them.

Following much lobbying and a petition which had some 42,000 signatures, free school meals were finally saved by her asking the question of Mr Cameron at Prime Ministers Question Time, “Will you guarantee now not to scrap universal infant free school meals so you don’t go down in history as Dave the dinner snatcher?”.

A delighted Mrs Hodgson, said: “It is a real honour to have received this award.

“This award is a testament to the work we have done together which has seen so many improvements in school food in the last decade. There is still a lot more that we can and must do to improve school food, and the access to healthy and nutritious food all year round for children, and I will continue to work hard on this important matter.”

Pat Fellows, former chairman of the Lead Association for Education Catering, said: “All of us involved in school meals are absolutely delighted that our champion has won this prestigious award, so richly deserved.”