Posted: Thu 9th Mar 2023

Free school meals extended in Wales for Easter and May holidays

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 9th, 2023

Lower income families across Wales will continue to have access to free school meals during the upcoming Easter and Whitsun school holidays, the Welsh Government confirmed today, March 9th.

The initiative, which includes all bank holidays during this period, is an agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru and has been made available due to the cost-of-living crisis currently affecting families across Wales.

A total of £9m in funding has been allocated to offer eligible pupils free school meals until the end of May half term.

Wales became the first UK nation to guarantee free school meals for eligible families during school holidays in 2020.

Individual local authorities will decide how to administer the free meal provision, which may include creating lunches or providing vouchers or direct payments to families.

The announcement was made on International School Meals Day, which is celebrated annually to raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating and children’s well-being. The Welsh Government has been working with Children in Wales to encourage schools across Wales to celebrate school meals and promote good nutrition.

The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru’s Co-operation Agreement also commits to providing free school meals to all primary school children during term time by 2024. More than three million meals have been served since rollout began in September 2022.

Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: “Many families across Wales are feeling the impact of rising prices and the cost-of-living crisis. I hope extending free school holiday provision until May half term will give those eligible peace of mind… This new announcement alongside the news that three million meals have been served up though Universal Primary Free School Meals shows our continued commitment that no child should go hungry.”

Plaid Cymru’s Designated Member, Sian Gwenllian, said: “Our Co-operation Agreement is delivering much needed support for families to ensure children and young people get the best start in life.”

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