'It’s breaking my heart!' Dinner lady breaks into tears after denying pupils school meals

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A dinner lady from Lancashire burst into tears as she was saying how difficult it was to have to deny children food because their parents are unable to afford school meals. The most vulnerable households are already bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis, with energy bills and food prices skyrocketing fuelled by inflation and the war in Ukraine. The dinner lady said how heartbreaking it was to have to refuse meals to children.

She told Politics Joe: “It’s breaking my heart, you know.

“You see them, they’re in a queue full of their peers and other school children, and it’s humiliating for them.

“It’s so humiliating. They just look at you like: ‘Well, what am I going to eat?’

“And you’re like: ‘I can’t give you anything I’m sorry’.”

As energy regulator Ofgem is set to raise the energy price cap to £3,549 a year in October, struggling households will see their energy bills rise even further, with up to 8 million people falling into fuel poverty according to the charity National Energy Action.

Facing that prospect, the dinner lady said: “Now, I’m just dreading going back to work. I’m dreading October. And to be honest, it’s getting to the point where I’m just like: ‘I don’t even think I can do this job anymore.’

“I didn’t take the job on to starve children,” she said overwhelmed by emotion.

Unable to contain her tears, the dinner lady started sobbing.

READ MORE: Queen ‘determined to be seen’ despite health issues during crisis

“You know, something has to give, and I just don’t think it should be children’s spirits, you know?” the crying dinner lady said.

When asked about what she has observed over the past few months, she said: “I just noticed I spend as much time taking food away from children as I do serving it.

“And to be honest, it’s not what I took the job for. You know, I never dreamt that I’d be having to tell children: ‘You can’t have that. You have no money on your account’.”

The dinner lady went on to explain how only a year ago parents would sometimes forget to leave money for their children to get food. Now, parents are simply unable to afford school meals for their children, she lamented.

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