Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Announcement of free healthy school lunches for all P1 to P3 children is "a huge boost"

Child poverty campaigners and trade unions including UNISON today welcomed news of free healthy school lunches for all P1 to P3 children.
First Minister Alex Salmond announced the £114 million package in the Scottish Parliament today.
It was described as “a huge boost” for children and families by the coalition of children’s charities, anti-poverty campaigners, churches and trade unions who have been campaigning for the Scottish Government to deliver on its longstanding pledge to do this.
John Dickie, head of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said:

“A universal approach to healthy free school lunches provides a huge boost to children and parents at a time when they are under increasing pressure from tax credit and benefit cuts, soaring food and energy prices and stagnating wages.
“Current means-testing means too many of our worst off children are not receiving a free school meal and parents too often struggle to meet the extra costs of lunches as they move back into work or increase their hours when their children start school.
“What’s more a universal approach ensures that all our children, whatever their home circumstances, gain the health and education benefits of a healthy lunch in the middle of the school day.”
The full CPAG news release is here.
Details of last month’s letter to the First Minister from campaigners, including UNISON and the STUC, are here.
UNISON Scotland, which represents school meals workers, supports universal free school meals for all school children. It is one of the key points in our Food for Good Charter, calling for fresh, local, healthy and sustainable food in public service catering. Free school meals not only boost health (reducing obesity), educational achievement and help tackle poverty - locally sourced sustainable food supports local economies and helps achieve climate change targets.

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