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Further £10m made available to fund free school meals over Christmas, February and Easter holidays

© Kim Cessford / DCT MediaShirley Anne Somerville
Shirley Anne Somerville

Free school meals will be made available over Christmas, February and Easter breaks for pupils across Scotland.

An increase of more than £10 million in funding was announced by Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville at Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh.

Reimbursements will also be available for local authorities who provided provision over the October holiday.

Ms Somerville said: “This important investment will support around 156,000 children and young people, helping families meet the cost of meals over the school holidays.

“It will be for local authorities to decide how this support is delivered, however we continue to advocate for a cash-first approach where appropriate, giving families the choice over what food they buy and where they buy it.”

A further £28 million will be handed to local authorities to deal with “financial insecurity” with councils able to decide how they spend the increase.

It’s aimed at helping people with housing, fuel and food costs.

Ms Somerville encouraged anyone who needs support to reach out to their local council for help, or call the national assistance helpline on 0800 111 4000.

She also urged people to check if they’re getting the support from both Scottish and UK Government that they are entitled to.