A council in Scotland has announced it will send a weekly food package to school pupils normally eligible for free school meals or the school clothing grant to support them through the coronavirus emergency.
North Ayrshire Council said the food will go both to affected pupils and their families as local authorities across Scotland seek to manage the effects of school closures ordered by the Scottish Government.
The packages will be delivered to pupils’ homes and will include lunch recipes and related ingredients.
All P1-P3 pupils can receive free school meals in Scotland but after that it becomes means-tested.
Every Scottish council is considering various options for maintaining support for low-income families.
Edinburgh City Council has said it will bring in a fortnightly electronic payment for eligible primary school pupils the equivalent of two weeks’ worth of school meals.
In South Lanarkshire, Angus and Dundee, pupils eligible for school meals or their parents will still be able to get them from their schools at lunchtime.
Dundee City Council stressed it is “working to develop new ways of delivering services from selected school buildings for identified groups of children and young people following the Easter break”.
To take part in the scheme in North Ayrshire, eligible families must opt-in by contacting the council’s facilities management team on 01294 324699 and 324759, or by email at FacilitiesManagementTeam@north-ayrshire.gov.uk.
Once matched with the council’s free school meals/clothing grant database, families will be added for a home delivery service.
North Ayrshire Council also said secondary schools will be open from Monday to allow for S4-S6 pupils (provided they are well) to complete course work, with free food provided during morning break and lunch.
Argyll and Bute: Ten school kitchens to remain open to ensure free school meals provision for those in need.
Fife: Pupils should go to their nearest school to collect free school meals if eligible for the first part of next week, with the council “working on a longer-term solution to provide payment directly to parents”.
Moray: Those eligible for free school meals can collect them between 12pm and 1pm from their nearest secondary school.
West Dunbartonshire: 14 local support hubs to ensure access to lunch and other resources for those entitled to free school meals and also to support children whose parents are key workers.
West Lothian: Local arrangements being put in place to maintain free school meals for those entitled to them.