Join Nelma’s Free School Meals Campaign Picnic – 20th July

Lunch is not a luxury!
Join nelma’s free school meals campaign picnic

Saturday 20 July 2019 | 1pm–4pm | Clissold Park, off Church St/Green Lanes, N16 9HJ

free food and drink / children’s activities / speeches / choir singing / pay what you can NELMA free school meals campaign t-shirts and badges available on the day / learn about NELMA/ get involved

NELMA demands:

  • Free school meals for all children in primary and secondary school education, regardless of immigration status! We reject the distinction between ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ children.
  • Clear all debts incurred to pay for school meals when families are prevented from accessing free school meals due to the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) condition attached to their immigration status.
  • Abolish the NRPF condition! This is state violence and a form of racist immigration control. All people deserve housing, support, and a decent life.

Forming part of the UK Home Office’s “hostile environment” policy, a person with NRPF is prohibited from accessing specified welfare benefits and public housing. The effects of NRPF extend to the Department of Education denying free school meals to some of the most destitute children in the country. Unequal access to free school meals causes alienation, and bolsters systemic racism in schools and the wider community.

Join us for an afternoon picnic and activities on 20 July to learn more about  the Free School Meals campaign and to support it to succeed!

Nelma’s free school meals campaign so far:

  • NELMA launched the FSM campaign in September 2018, calling for free school meals for all who need them, regardless of immigration status, and for schools to be adequately funded so that they can provide this. We held a picnic at St. Mary’s Church in Stoke Newington, with free food and drink, speeches from children denied free school meals. For more details, see:
    NELMA’s FSM postcard campaign is ongoing, raising awareness of the impact of the lack of free school meals provision to destitute migrant families, with a view to sending postcards to the Department of Education. Get in touch to sign a postcard or get some for your school or organisation:
  • NELMA members are supporting each other, writing letters to schools to ask for free school meals and for debts for school meal chargesto be cleared.


About NELMA:

NELMA brings together activists from across London to campaign on issues faced by migrants in vulnerable positions in our communities. As a network of volunteers that aims to centre the experiences and amplify the voices of migrant people, NELMA challenges injustices towards families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF), through our Section 17 Accompanying Scheme, and active campaigns. NELMA’s current campaign focuses on free school meals (FSM) for all children, regardless of immigration status. Between 2016-2017, NELMA coordinated a campaign against the Home Office’s policy of detaining and deporting EEA national rough sleepers. We hold regular general meetings and Section 17 Accompanying Scheme trainings.


Accompanying scheme training session – 6 June 2019

NELMA runs regular training sessions for new volunteers for our accompanying scheme, which provides solidarity to migrants accessing support from social services.

The next training session will run on Thursday 6th June 2019 from 19:00-21:00 at DIY Space for London, 96-108 Ormside Street, SE15 1TF.

Continue reading “Accompanying scheme training session – 6 June 2019”

NELMA’s local victory in Hackney: A great start, but not enough

NELMA’s campaign calling on the government to provide free schools for all children who need them launched on 29 September 2018. Speaking in solidarity with the campaign, several local leaders have since publicly committed to help change the discriminatory rules that deny many children who are living in poverty a decent meal in school. This is happening because they have no access to benefits due to their parents’ immigration status.

Continue reading “NELMA’s local victory in Hackney: A great start, but not enough”

Join NELMA’s Free School Meals campaign in 2019


Last October, The Hackney Citizen ran a local story on a national scandal— the government’s denial of free school meals to children who need them, based on their or their parents’ immigration status. Richard Brown, headteacher at Urswick School in Hackney, told the paper he hadn’t realised how many children at his school were going hungry until he discovered it “almost by accident” when the school threw a party with free food to celebrate their new Ofsted rating. Brown was surprised to see “[crowds of children] coming to eat who I’d never seen in the canteen before. The cooks that day told me they’d never made so much food.” This was Brown’s awakening to the fact that free school meals are a ‘public fund’, and that it takes more than a low income to qualify for them. In fact, children only get the opportunity to apply for free school meals if their parents already receive certain benefits. This means that families who cannot access these benefits– because they have what is known as “no recourse to public funds” as a part of their immigration status– are left out from free school meal provision in England.

Continue reading “Join NELMA’s Free School Meals campaign in 2019”

Free school meal for all!

Thanks so much to everyone who came to a picnic to launch our campaign: Lunch is not a luxury on Saturday 29th September.

We gathered lots of postcards to tell @educationgovuk  why all children who need them should have access to free school meals, regardless of immigration status. #leftoutatlunch

Get in touch if you want some postcards to tell the Department of Education how you feel about their denial of free school meals to children – how it harms children who are already living in poverty, causes alienation, and bolsters systemic racism. NELMA is collecting these message to deliver to the Department.













Picnic for Free School Meals! – Campaign Launch

Children from migrant families with ‘no recourse to public funds‘ are often unable to access free school meals. NELMA is launching a campaign calling for free school meals for all who need them, regardless of immigration status, and for schools to be adequately funded so that they can provide this.

Our campaign launch is a Picnic for Free School Meals on 29th September, and we would love to see you there!  Continue reading “Picnic for Free School Meals! – Campaign Launch”