Thousands of school pupils across Lanarkshire are missing out on the opportunity of free school meals after a proposal by Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon was voted down in the Scottish Parliament

Monica tabled an amendment to the Good Food Nation Bill on Tuesday, June 4 which would have seen free school meals offered to every primary and secondary school pupil in Scotland.

Free meals are currently offered to primary one to five children and means tested for older pupils.

The STUC Women’s Committee is championing the provision of universal free school meals through its Food for Thought campaign, with the backing of the EIS, the country’s largest teaching union.

Monica’s amendment received cross-party support, with 46 MSPs voting in favour, but was ultimately voted down by the SNP and Greens.

Monica said: “We are seeing a shocking rise in hidden hunger in Scotland’s classrooms which doesn’t stop at the primary school gates.

“That’s why the Food for Thought campaign by the STUC Women’s Committee is so vital. It is simply shameful that teachers are having to feed pupils from their own pockets.

“During this cost of living crisis, politicians should be doing everything in their power to make sure children don’t go hungry.

“My amendment to the Good Food Nation Bill should have had the unequivocal support of Nicola Sturgeon, her ministers and backbenchers.

“However, I am encouraged by the cross-party support the amendment received and will continue fighting to end child hunger.”