Now is not the time to roll back on free school meals

Watch our Communities & Networks Manager David Reilly and Terry McTernan of Darkwood Crew talking about the summit on STV's Scotland Tonight.

Listen to Peter Kelly speaking about the poverty summit on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme.


 Commenting on reports around the expansion of universal free school meals in Scotland, Poverty Alliance director Peter Kelly said: “The First Minister has to recognise the injustice that leaves so many children in Scotland hungry and without food they need.

“With figures from the Trussell Trust showing record numbers of families accessing food banks, this is not the time to roll back on commitments relating to free school meals.

“We know that many low-income families just miss out on qualifying for means-tested free school meals, and many others don’t claim because of shame or stigma.

“The best way to tackle this problem is through universal free school meals that benefit all of our children and young people.”

Peter Kelly was speaking just after attending today’s (Wed 3) anti-poverty summit, chaired by the First Minister.

He said: “The First Minister’s poverty summit was a timely opportunity to refocus on tackling the injustice of poverty in Scotland. Across all those who took part, there was a clear sense of urgency on the need to deliver real change.

“There was no shortage of ideas for action. We can expand funded childcare, use public contracts as a lever to improve pay and conditions in key sectors, and remove barriers to work for those people most affected by poverty – women, disabled people, people from Black and ethnic minority communities.

“Now is the time for the Scottish Government to turn those ideas into concrete action. We look forward to a follow up summit in the coming year to check where progress has been made.”

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