MSPs back free school meals over holidays

North-east MSPs have welcomed plans for two new funding packages from the Scottish Government to help support people on low incomes.

North-east MSPs have welcomed plans for two new funding packages from the Scottish Government to help support people on low incomes.

It comes after an announcement was made by Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville regarding £10million of funding being made available for free school meals over the Christmas holidays, February half-term break and Easter.

Local authorities will also be reimbursed for provision during the current October half-term break.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin and Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson have welcomed the move which will support more than 150,000 children across Scotland.

It will be up to each council how this support is delivered, but the Scottish Government is encouraging a cash first approach where necessary to allow families the option of what food they buy and where they purchase it from.

In addition, there will also be an £18million fund available to local authorities to tackle financial insecurity.

Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said: “This is a very welcome and necessary step in ensuring no child goes hungry.

We know the cash flow of many families have been dealt a blow by the impact of the coronavirus and we must ensure we do all we can to help support them through this difficult time.

By ensuring food can be put on the table for so many families across Scotland we can help to support those who really need it.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said

Children and young people have already had an incredibly turbulent year with disruption to school and their daily lives.

By offering this support, we will endeavour to make sure families can feel additionally supported in helping to ensure children are fed.

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