Edinburgh Council to investigate permanent solution to tackle holiday hunger for pupils

EDUCATION bosses will investigate what can be done to tackle holiday hunger as part of a wider look at child poverty.

Missing out on nutritious meals can affect children's health and development
Missing out on nutritious meals can affect children's health and development

The city council’s education, children and families committee agreed a motion by Labour Cllr Scott Arthur, calling on a feasibility study into measures to help children who go hungry out of term time when breakfast clubs are not available.

Earlier this year, a headteacher told councillors that some pupils only receive a good meal when they are at school.

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The Discover project, which offers free meals and other help to the most vulnerable families over the holidays, reportedly reached only 10 per cent of pupils eligible for free school meals and operated just three days a week from four sites.

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Call for year-round free school meals in Edinburgh to beat holiday hunger

He added: “We need something that’s going to be sustained in the long-term”.

A report on child poverty, due before councillors in March, will include measures to address holiday hunger.

“I am absolutely delighted therefore that the council has accepted my request to look at providing children with a nutritious meal and activities during holiday periods. Edinburgh appears to be behind other councils in this area, and I hope my motion provides an opportunity for it to take the lead.”

Green education spokesperson, Cllr Steve Burgess, added: “It’s damning in a wealthy 21st century city like Edinburgh that holiday hunger should have come to such prominence over the last decade, a sign of just how brutal the welfare attack from the UK government has been.