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Free school meals through summer gets £463,000 backing in Highland Council area

By Hector MacKenzie

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Children in the Highlands eligible for free school meals will be among those who continue to be supported over the summer through a package of support from the Scottish Government funding.

Highland Council will receive £463,000 funding from the government to support the continued provision of free school meals during the summer holiday period, and £651,000 for the wider provision of food support.

This funding will ensure that the Highland Council is able to continue the provision of free school meals during the summer holidays and other food provision to help low income families during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Highkand MSP Maree Todd, who is based in Strathpeffer, said: “We know that this pandemic has put real financial pressure on families, and it’s right that the Scottish Government has ensured the Highland Council can continue to provide free school meals and support families, children and young people who need some extra help at this challenging time.

“Free school meals are vital for families in the Highlands and an important way of ensuring their children receive the nutritious food they need. That is why it is so important that support continues while schools remain closed.

"This extra support will make a huge difference to children and their families in the Highlands and across Scotland, and help to ensure the most vulnerable people in our society receive support during this pandemic.

Need to know

Individuals who are unable to access or afford food and cannot get the help they need from family, friends or neighbours are encouraged to call the national assistance helpline. The free helpline number is 0800 111 4000, or can be contacted via a textphone on 0800 111 4114. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

Callers will be put through to speak to someone at their local council. They'll be able to advise on what types of help are available. This might include:

Food, if you're not able to get the day-to-day food you need

Medication, if you're not able to pick up the prescriptions you need

Access to local social work services

Emotional support

Contact with local volunteer groups.

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