Glasgow writes off school meal debt to 'stop children going hungry'

·1-min read

Glasgow City Council has scrapped school meal debt to help struggling families amid the cost of living crisis.

It is hoped writing off the debt will ease financial pressure on those who just miss out on meeting the criteria for free school meals.

Families will have their debt cancelled if it is above the equivalent of one month's worth of meals, the council said.

The move is expected to cost around £300,000 and will be covered by council reserves.

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Last month, the Scottish government released a survey suggesting nearly 60% of students went to bed or school hungry - while 3% said they always went to bed hungry.

Councillor Christina Cannon, who proposed the measure, said: "No pupil in our schools will ever be refused a school meal, and by agreeing to wipe school meal debt we are giving our families a bit of respite so that they can choose to use the money on other household bills and ease their worries.

"The stark reality is that children and young people are coming to school or going to bed hungry - pupils told us this in our recent health and wellbeing survey, and in 2023 no child or young person will go hungry in our schools.

"Our families deserve better and that is why we will do everything in our power to deliver for Glasgow's children and young people."

The full council motion was unanimously backed by councillors on Thursday.