Council plans to offer year-long free school meals

A Scots council whose area suffers from above-average levels of deprivation is set to pilot a plan to give underprivileged children free meals 365 days a year.

North Lanarkshire Council’s education committee chairman, Councillor Frank McNally, reportedly says the scheme is the most ambitious in the country - and that free school dinners are the only proper meals some kids from low income families get.

The pilot run will include holidays and weekends, in a bid to tackle what’s described as “holiday hunger” - school breaks during which food banks are under greater than usual pressure.

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The council reportedly argues the plan could help to address the attainment gap in schools, as lack of proper food is said to contribute to poor academic performance.

The initial cost of daily free meals is reckoned set to cost nearly £11,000, while to offer it across the board would cost around £414,000 per year.