In the run up to the Scottish Parliament elections earlier this year, the Scottish Conservatives announced a policy of providing free school meals for all primary school pupils. The Scottish Government agreed to extend Free School Meals to all primary school pupils starting with P4 in August this year.
Perth and Kinross Council will need to supply 500,000 additional meals each year when the scheme is fully rolled out from August 2022. At the next meeting of Perth & Kinross Council, councillors will be asked to consider proposals for producing these additional meals.
Tayside Contracts have successfully delivered these meals from Tay Cuisine covering Dundee and Angus Councils with meals then finished off in schools. Similar models are already being operated in other local authorities across Scotland.
The proposals have the potential to create up to 60 new local jobs for people in Perth & Kinross.
Councillor Caroline Shiers said:
“We all know that properly fed children learn better but the current qualifications for free school meals are too restrictive and many pupils can still miss out. So it is great to see that the Scottish Government has adopted the Scottish Conservative policy of providing free school meals to all primary school children.
“Over the past two years, there have been extensive discussions at Perth and Kinross Council about how we can improve the quality of meals on offer, how to improve the amount of local produce we use, and how to ensure more children take up the free meals they are eligible to receive.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but quality of the meal on the plate, continuity of local staff serving the meals, and increasing the amount of local produce used in meal production are the key commitments we are making.
“I also very much welcome the increased job opportunities that would be created across Perth and Kinross through the way that we are redesigning the delivery of school meals.
“I look forward to the discussion in the council chamber, albeit still virtually, and moving forward to rolling out free school meals to all primary school pupils by next August.”