Following a written question from Kenneth Gibson MSP, Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP has advised that North Ayrshire Council (NAC) will receive £651,000 in additional funding from the SNP Government to support the expansion of universal free school meals to primary 4 and primary 5 children in 2021/22.
NAC will determine what approach in school holidays meets local needs and circumstances, which may include direct payments, vouchers or food parcels.
Councils across Scotland are receiving £28 million to expand the universal provision of free school lunches to include all children in Primary 4 starting from August 2021, and to include all children in Primary 5 starting from January 2022.
More than 90,000 primary school pupils across Scotland will be entitled to new free school meal support in term time.
The £28 million commitment will deliver free school lunches during term time for P4 children by August 2021 and to P5 children by January 2022.
A further £21.75 million will provide targeted free school meal support during school holidays in 2021/22. This will start in July for around 145,000 primary and secondary children and young people from low income households.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Free school meals are a vital support to thousands of children and young people across the country – ensuring that children have access to a free, healthy and nutritious meal every day they are in school and are ready to engage in learning.
“The provision of £651,000 in new funding to NAC demonstrates the SNP Government’s support for the health and wellbeing of children and young people and our commitment to reduce the impact of poverty on thousands of families across North Ayrshire and Scotland.”