Four million children live below the breadline. Two-thirds of those in crisis are from homes where at least one parent is in work. These are horrible statistics and as we bed ourselves firmly into the autumn term, you can only wonder who among the sea of faces standing at the servery counter are getting their only decent meal today from you (for some you’ll know exactly who they are). It’s this hidden poverty that is so distressing, that there are families struggling to provide for their children yet don’t qualify for Free School Meals (FSM). Our Big Interview this month is with Richard Barron, director of fundraising at Buttle UK, who lays out the harsh reality of child poverty in 2017 (page 14). What can be done? For a start, we can encourage as many parents as possible who’s child is eligible for Universal Infant Free School Meals to take it up. There is also the School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill, which you can campaign for before 19th January, to provide more holiday feeding provision. As for the working poor who don’t qualify for FSM? Buttle UK and other charities are working towards a solution and in the meantime, providing lifesaving financial interventions. Guests at the EDUcatering Excellence Awards on 10th October got to see the marvellous work being done by Mary’s Meals in providing a meal at school for over a million children around the world. People were so generous in raising £XXX for our nominated charity and we are incredibly grateful. While we have much to be thankful for living here in the UK surrounded by luxuries, child poverty is not something that happens only overseas, far from it. School food is, of course, a lifeline for many children and I was honoured to be around so many wonderful school caterers at the EDUcatering Excellence Awards, who do so much more than put a hot nutritious meal on the plate of those who need it. Turn to page 22 to see the full list of winners and look out for next month’s issue when we will provide an in-depth report of our 2017 Hall of Fame.