The Scottish Government’s free school meal initiative has been a whopping success in East Dunbartonshire, with 78% of P1-3 pupils now tucking in to a free lunch.
Since January, all P1-3 children have been entitled to free school meals, something which the Council put a great deal of planning and preparation into introducing. This included hiring new staff, buying new equipment and increasing orders from suppliers.
Before the changes, around 300 children were eligible for a free school meal but this figure rocketed to almost 3,000 when the new initiative came into force.
Depute Leader of the Council and Convener of Neighbourhood Services, Ashay Ghai said: “We are very pleased that there has been such appetite for the new initiative in East Dunbartonshire schools. The government target was 75% and we have managed to top this by hitting 78% uptake – 18 schools are even exceeding 80%
“I wish to thank all the hard-working employees who have helped make this initiative such a success by dishing up imaginative menus and delicious meals, meaning the children want to come to us for their lunch.
“This is a win-win situation. Children benefit greatly from a proper meal at lunchtime, as it has a positive affect both on their health and wellbeing as well as their academic performance. For parents, they have the comfort of knowing their children are eating a healthy, nutritious meal, while saving money at the same time.