More children and young people are set to benefit from nutritious meals and a place to play and socialise when schools are closed for the holidays this year.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has announced £340,000 for six charities that offer children breakfast, healthy snacks and a hot lunch, as well as a range of games and activities during the school holidays.
The funding means that this Easter, and throughout the rest of the school holidays this year, more than 46,500 children will be supported with food and activities. This is the first funding announcement of the Scottish Government’s recently increased budget to tackle food insecurity during school holidays – which has risen from £500,000 last year to £2 million in 2019-20.
Cash For Kids and Children in Scotland are two of the national charities that will benefit as well as local projects provided by Centrestage (Ayrshire); Dundee Bairns (Dundee); Community Food Initiatives North East (Aberdeen); and Achieve More Scotland (Glasgow and West Lothian).
Speaking at a visit to the Active Kids project in Kirkcaldy run by the YMCA, which has received previous Scottish Government funding, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“While we provide free school meals to children in P1 to P3 and to those on low incomes throughout their time at school, we know it can be a struggle for some parents to provide meals and keep children entertained when their school takes a break.
“The school holidays should be a time for fun. This funding will allow projects working in rural and urban areas across Scotland to deliver fun activity programmes for children and young people in the school holidays and include healthy nutritious meals so no child goes hungry.
“This year we have committed to increase spending from £500,000 to £2 million to help support local authorities and the third sector to tackle food insecurity during the school holidays. The extra money will be a huge benefit to families who need it the most.”