Free school meals to continue into next year in Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government have confirmed that funding for free school meal payments for thousands of eligible families will continue over the Christmas holidays and both the February and Easter breaks next year.

By Beth Murray
Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 12:53 pm
Free school meal payments will continue into next year.
Free school meal payments will continue into next year.

The Council is urging families to find out if they are entitled to the free school meal payments if they are struggling and don’t already receive them.

In addition backdated payments were made yesterday, Monday October 26, to support eligible families for the October break period.

Council Leader Adam McVey said: "This provides important support for families across the city and almost 6,500 young people have already benefited from free school meal payments covering the October break.

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Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey supports the funding for free school meal payments.

"This Council and Scottish Government funding means that we’re helping families most in need over the winter months. These are extremely challenging times for everyone but no family should have to worry about how they’re going to put food on plates during the holidays or at any other time.”

The Council is sending letters to parents and carers who have been identified as being entitled to free school meals, but who the Council don’t have payment details for.

The Council is urging struggling families who may be missing out on the payments to check online to see if they are eligible.

The funding announcement comes after the Edinburgh Poverty Commission published their final report last month which highlighted that almost 15 percent of Edinburgh’s population lives in poverty, including one in five children.

The payment for free school meals reinforces the Council’s commitment to providing much needed support to families through such projects as the ‘Discover! programme’ which aims to reduce food and financial insecurity during the school holidays.

Depute leader Cammy Day said: "As the city’s Poverty Champion I’m fully aware of the enormous struggles many people are experiencing so this vital funding means no families

need to go hungry in Scotland's Capital over the winter months.

"We want to make sure that everyone who’s entitled to receive this financial lifeline can do so.

"Please check our online application form which outlines who is eligible for funding and apply before the end of November so we can process the payments as swiftly as possible.”

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