A Scottish council is replacing free school meals with weekly food parcels containing fresh ingredients and basic recipes designed to feed the whole family.
There have been a number of solutions when it comes to continuing to provide free meals now that Scottish schools have been shut to stem the spread of coronavirus. In the majority of councils – for the time being at least – the favoured option seems to be that meals are collected by families and pupils either from local schools or hubs.
North Ayrshire Council, however, is taking a different approach and this week started to deliver boxes of food direct to the door of families whose children are on free school meals.
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The contents will vary depending on the supplies available but the packages going out this week – which started to be delivered on Wednesday – included lentil soup, Scotch broth, macaroni and cheese, yoghurts, milk, bread, rolls, jacket potatoes, beans, rice, pasta, vegetables and even stocks and seasonings. These supplies were accompanied by basic recipes relevant to the ingredients.
In total, more than 2,000 families have registered for the service, which is accessed by filling in an online form, and is aimed at those who have a child or children eligible for free school meals or in receipt of a school clothing grant.
The Scottish Greens have argued that home delivering free school meals to families should be investigated given that in “chaotic households...barriers to feeding children are more than just financial”. Ross Greer, the party’s education spokesman, has argued that direct delivery will be essential for some children and families.