MSP Praises Argyll and Bute School Meals Plan

Green MSP Ross Greer has applauded Argyll and Bute Council for their efforts to ensure that children who are eligible for free school meals continue to receive a meal during school closures. Greer, the Scottish Greens’ education spokesperson, had previously published outline proposals on how councils could operate a home delivery system for families in receipt of free school meals, rather than simply make an equivalent cash payment to those families Designed to support families for whom money is not the only barrier to feeding their children, Deputy First Minister John Swinney encouraged councils to consider Greer’s proposals

Following the Swinney’s call, Greer wrote to all 32 councils with the Greens’ outline plans, asking for confirmation of the arrangements they have put in place. Argyll and Bute have responded outlining that they are offering a daily hot meal to every child who is entitled to a free school meal and that this scheme has had 83% uptake. The council has contacted the families of the other 17% to check that they are being provided for. Following a review, this delivery has now been replaced by a delivery of local, fresh food  and supplies for the whole family.

Ross Greer, Scottish Greens MSP for the West of Scotland commented:

“Different councils are taking different approaches but this is one of the most comprehensive plans I’ve seen and Argyll & Bute Council should be congratulated for putting together something so comprehensive.  This will go a long way to making sure that the most vulnerable children in our communities are fed and supported during the pandemic.

“I hope councils across Scotland who had originally adopted ‘collection hub’ models, which they then had to revise in light of the lockdown measures, will look to Argyll and Bute for an example of exactly the kind of flexible approach which gives families the support which is right for them.”