Former One Direction star Zayn Malik has called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to ‘give all children living in poverty’ a free school meal.
Malik is backing Food Foundation - a campaign that’s called for all kids growing up in households receiving Universal Credit to have access to free meals.
Food Foundation estimates that a shocking 800,000 children in England live in poverty, however don’t all qualify for free meals.
Malik said he felt compelled to write to Sunak and share his own experience and published his open letter on Instagram.
The star wrote: "These children are suffering from lack of concentration, some even resorting to stealing food from school canteens because they are so hungry but can't afford to buy lunch.
"They are also feeling shame which is directly impacting their physical and mental health.
"I know what that shame feels like, I have seen it first-hand, as growing up in Bradford, I relied on free school meals."
He added: “As I see it, extending the current threshold and giving Free School Meals to children from families on Universal Credit would be the best way to reach those who need it most.
“This would stop children from enduring the worst of the cost-of-living crisis which in turn only creates bigger divides between the richest and poorest.”
Malik went on: “Free School Meals are such a big help for the poorest children in our society and they guarantee a reliably hot, nutritious lunch every day at school, so children can thrive rather than worrying about where their next meal comes from.
“I hope-the government does what's right and makes the changes that are needed. Parents are already doing everything they can, but Government support is desperately needed.
“No parent should have to make impossible decisions like whether to buy food, turn on the heating, or go into debt.
“Knowing that their children are getting a good lunch at school would be a huge relief to parents who are struggling,” continued the superstar musician.
“These pressures will only get worse as food and energy prices keep rising.
“As Prime Minister, you have the power to change this. Please act in good conscience and commit in your Budget on 17th November to giving all children living in poverty a Free School Meal.”