Parents have welcomed the news that all Glasgow primary school children will be getting a free snack of fruit during their morning break from this month.
Secondary pupils eligible for free school meals will also receive a hot bite at breaktime.
The move means kids who turn up with nothing to eat will have food to tide them over until lunch.
The food boost will run from October to March and is set to benefit 53,000 pupils.
Glasgow City Parents Group said: “With the rollout of the universal offer of free school meals to more primary pupils, and the addition of a mid-morning snack being available, this will give families a little financial relief.
“It will help remove some stigma from pupils who are in receipt of free school meals when the food in school is available to all. We welcome the day that this is rolled out to all pupils, across all sectors and not just those who qualify for it.”
The group said it is working with the council’s education catering services “to develop the school food offer by seeking views from parents and carers across the city”.
All primary pupils from P1 to P7 will receive universal free school meals by August next year.
The free snack programme is part of a one-off investment from the council and Scottish Government Covid recovery funding.
It forms part of the council’s Covid recovery plans and complements Glasgow’s city food plan and climate emergency and sustainability proposal to source local providers to supply produce for school menus.
Councillor Chris Cunningham, city convener of education, skills and early years, said: “This programme is the ideal way to offer fresh fruit to all primary pupils and a hot and healthy option mid-morning to young people in our secondary schools during the autumn and winter months when we all need a bit extra to get us through the day’s work.
“I know that it will also be a great help to our families and potentially free up some money towards other household bills.
“We’ve long since advocated the benefits of [healthy] school meals to our families and what we are now looking at is how this can fit with the Glasgow City Food Plan goals to provide locally produced provisions in our schools.
“It might be that we can look at community food growing initiatives to provide the fruit for primary schools which will in turn help our carbon footprint.”
By local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley