Monica Hosts Campaign Event for Universal Free School Meals

A major event  has led to renewed calls for the urgent expansion of free school meals to all age groups.

Monica sponsored the Scottish Parliament reception in support of the Food for Thought campaign led by trade unions, in conjunction with the EIS teachers’ union and the Sunday Mail.

The Food for Thought campaign was spearheaded by the Scottish Trade Union Congress Women’s Committee has been a major influence on Scottish Government policy, achieving the rollout of access to universal free school meals to all pupils in primary one to primary five. The scheme has yet to be extended to children in primary six and seven, and campaigners are calling for free school meals to be made available in secondary schools.

The evening consisted of speeches from school pupils and food ambassadors who expressed support for the campaign.

Monica said:

“No child or young person in Scotland should be left hungry. It was empowering to see the collective action from school pupils, trade union representatives and policymakers who are all committed to eradicating youth hunger.

“It was especially heartening to hear from youth voices on the importance of achieving education equality in schools. The only way we can achieve this is by expanding free school meals to all primary and secondary pupils.

“As the cost-of-living crisis worsens and more families are thrown into financial hardship, child hunger is becoming even more rife. Feeding children and young people needs to be at the top of the Government’s priority list.

“I am grateful to the STUC Women’s committee and others who made this impactful event possible, and I will be continuing to hold the Scottish Government to their promise to deliver this essential anti-poverty policy”.

Monica Lennon is an MSP for the Central Scotland Region. In 2021, she passed the ground-breaking Period Product (Scotland) Act. Follow her on Twitter for recent updates.