Monica Lennon MSP renews calls for action on free school meals during ‘Challenge Poverty Week’

Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon has backed the Poverty Alliance during its annual ‘Challenge Poverty Week’ 3 to 9 October. 

The Scottish Labour and Co-operative Party MSP is leading calls in the Scottish Parliament for the Scottish Government to urgently expand access to universal free school meals to pupils in Primary 6 and 7 classes, as well as secondary schools. Currently the scheme is available to children in Primary 1 through to Primary 5. 

Monica said “Whilst we should be challenging poverty every single day, Challenge Poverty Week is an opportunity to highlight the social inequalities that are present in Scotland.  

“As we move on from a week of intense anti-poverty campaigning, we cannot allow the spotlight to shift away when so many children, adults and families are struggling. 

“The cost-of-living crisis will leave many people vulnerable this winter unless we see the right action from every level of government. 

“Children going to school hungry leaves them vulnerable to falling behind and facing further social inequalities.  

“Providing universal free school meals is one step that can be taken to ease the pressure.  

“That’s why the Scottish Government should listen to the STUC, teaching unions the EIS and NASUWT, and the thousands of campaigners across Scotland making the compelling case for stigma-free access to universal free school meals.”