School meals were developed because of charitable, and subsequently official, concern about the effects of poverty on children's capacity to benefit from education. Superficially, one might regard Edwardian interventions – in the early part of the twentieth century – as a historical footnote to today's issues. In fact, this period of UK history was notable for attempts to find solutions to problems that are still relevant. Despite appearances to the contrary, child poverty has not been eliminated in the UK of today and the recent reintroduction of nutritional standards for school meals in the UK is an important reminder that feeding bodies remains crucial to feeding minds. In this article we map social concern expressed in contemporary studies of Dundee, York and London, the impact of army recruitment problems, and the initiation of a school meals policy in Scotland and England. We conclude with an assessment of the issues and solutions as they relate to the UK in the early twenty-first century.
- Social responsibility