Extra free school meals funding welcomed on Western Isles

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan

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More than 470 children across the Western Isles will benefit from extra funding to extend free school meals over the Christmas and Easter holidays.

£10 million has been made available by the Scottish Government so that councils can continue providing free school meals through the winter breaks with future funding confirmed to extend support over Easter.

Last Wednesday, Tory MPs voted rejected a plan to extend the scheme, arguing that it was not the job of schools to ‘regularly provide food during the school holidays’.

No Scottish Tory MP voted to support the plan, despite recent indications from Douglas Ross that he wishes to end his party’s opposition to the free school meals provision.

Alasdair Allan MSP said: ‘Many families are under considerable financial pressure at this time, and with less than two weeks until the UK government prematurely shuts down the furlough scheme, that’s unfortunately only set to get worse.

‘The Scottish Government’s decision to extend the free school meals scheme will be a great relief for many hard-pressed parents. This important investment will support around 470 children and young people in the islands, helping families meet the cost of meals over Christmas, February and Easter holidays.

‘The Tories at Westminster had an opportunity to support thousands of families worrying about how they will put food on the table in the weeks ahead, but they refused to do so.

‘It’s clear that Westminster has a lot to learn from the SNP’s approach to tackling food insecurity and building a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect.’