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Lochaber school pupils from P1-S6 have received a one-off wellbeing payment of £25 to ensure this provision can continue during the festive break from school.
This wellbeing payment per child or young person has been agreed in order to help Highland parents and carers to provide nutritious hot meals for their children during what is a very expensive and often challenging time of year.
A nutritionally-balanced diet is shown to support good memory and cognitive abilities among children and young people and therefore improves learning and educational attainment.
In addition, energy levels are increased enabling children and young people to keep active during the winter school holiday period.
Chairman of Highland Council Education Committee Councillor John Finlayson said he was delighted the free school meal payments for the festive period had been paid automatically to families based on existing entitlement, without the need for them to complete application forms.
‘Council members recognise the mounting pressures that are facing low income families, including removal of the £20 top-up payment from Universal Credit, withdrawal of the furlough scheme and exorbitant and crippling energy price increases,’ he added.
‘I hope that these wellbeing payments go some way to supporting the health of our children and young people while also providing financial breathing space to Highland families during this expensive and challenging time of year.’