Free school meals to continue over summer

Date: 25th June 2020
Category: Child poverty


Through a package of £27.6 million of additional funding from Scottish Government, councils will be enabled to continue the provision of free school meals during the summer holidays and other food provision to help low income families during COVID-19.

Around 175,000 children and young people are currently receiving free school meals or vouchers or cash payments in lieu of these meals. The number of children receiving free school food has risen by 53,000 since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the economic impact of the pandemic on family incomes. This additional funding will support the children of families who have been swept into financial uncertainty and last until the end of September 2020. As with previous funding, councils will have flexibility on how to put in place provision that meets local needs and circumstances.

The funding is in addition to the overall package of £30 million previously allocated to councils to provide free school meals and food provision to key groups during lockdown.

Individuals who are unable to access or afford food and cannot get the help they need from family, friends or neighbours are encouraged to call the national assistance helpline, which is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 – 17:00. The free helpline number is 0800 111 4000 or can be contacted via a textphone on 0800 111 4114.

Callers will be put through to speak to someone at their local council. They will be able to advise on what types of help are available. This might include:

  • food, if you're not able to get the day-to-day food you need
  • medication, if you're not able to pick up the prescriptions you need
  • access to local social work services
  • emotional support
  • contact with local volunteer groups

Read more about the extra funding here.