Reading Borough Council and West Berkshire Council are both facing shortfalls this September when free school meals are rolled out to all infants.
The total set-up and delivery costs for the Reading Borough Council area are £591,000 but the Government grant for the scheme is only for £384,000. In West Berkshire the extra costs are not yet known but the council says funding is not sufficient.
The shortfalls, uncovered from committee reports and following a Freedom of Information request by the Labour Party, show that the extension of free school meals will leave many councils in need of contingency funding.
Last month, both David Cameron and Nick Clegg defended their handling of the policy, saying that "a decent amount of time has been set aside for its introduction" and that "it will happen in September, it is fully funded".
Victoria Groulef said: "I fully support the idea of having free school meals for key stage one children, but the policy needed to be fully costed, funded and thought through before implementation. It's of serious concern that both Reading Borough Council and West Berkshire Council are facing a shortfall which will have to be paid for from already over-stretched resources. This has been an ambitious programme and I know that local authorities are doing all they can to work with schools to deliver it on time, but adequate funding must be made available by national Government, it is time they recognised the scale of the problem."