It is four weeks until the election, and the SNP have announced that an SNP Government will provide free school breakfasts and lunches to every primary school pupil.
Both breakfast and lunches will be made available all year round, ending the holiday gap that the party says left too many children hungry, and increasing the saving to families to an estimated £650 per year per child.
SNP Leader, Nicola Sturgeon, will also unveil plans to pilot free nutritious school breakfasts in secondary schools, which could see universal breakfast provision rolled out for older pupils.
During the pandemic, the SNP Government has provided additional help to low incomes families, providing free school meals in holidays and additional income through two £100 pandemic payments.
Speaking while campaigning in Glasgow today, Nicola Sturgeon will say: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough for everyone – that’s why so much of our focus in government has been to help families get by in tough times.
“All children in primaries 1 to 3 already benefit from access to free school meals, saving families around £400 per child per year.
“But if re-elected, we will go much further. An SNP Government will provide free school breakfasts and lunches to every primary school pupil in Scotland, all year round, and for all children in state-funded special schools in Scotland. This will eventually save them an estimated £650 a year per child.
“That will make an enormous difference to families in every corner of the country — but even this will not be the limit of our ambition.
“We’ll look to the long term by piloting of free nutritious school breakfasts in secondary schools – which will help us to explore the feasibility of universal breakfast provision in secondary schools.
“School meals boost children’s energy, concentration and behaviour, which leads to improvements in academic attainment. Our plan gives much-needed support to families right now – but it is also a significant investment in Scotland’s future.
“It took a high-profile campaign by Marcus Rashford to shame Boris Johnson into doing the right thing. For us in Scotland, it is a lesson in why it is far better that key decisions are taken here in Scotland – and not left in the hands of the Tories at Westminster.
“By giving both votes to the SNP in this election, people can elect a government which has a plan to lead Scotland through the pandemic and ensure that every family is supported through the recovery.”