Dundee City Council have announced a free school meals scheme while pupils remain at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The city-wide scheme will cover 6,892 children when it launches next week.
The initiative is set to cost more than a million pounds to roll out across the city, as payments will be backdated until March 23 – the date the council was unable to provide a normal free school meals service.
A direct weekly payment of £11.25 per child will be paid into the accounts of qualifying families, where the council holds bank details.
If the council does not hold a families bank details and they are eligible, the may receive a text message asking them to contact the council.
If no text is received and they think their child is eligible, the council can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01382 433458.
All children in a nursery which is part of the additional hours pilot scheme are included and any child in a nursery who would usually receive free school meals.
Of P1-3 pupils, only those who receive a school clothing grant will be eligible. Payments will be made for pupils from P4-S6 based on free school meals entitlement.
Vouchers will be available as a safety net in case bank details for some families cannot be confirmed.
The cost for a 14-week period until the end of term on June 26, or earlier if restrictions are lifted, would be £1,085,490. This will be paid for partly by the council’s share of the Scottish Government Food Fund.
Council leader John Alexander said: “This payment will be a practical help for families to put food on the table during extremely challenging times.
“We know that free school meals have a positive impact for these pupils and we have developed a scheme which is simple and convenient.
“The establishment of Community Support Centres and a food distribution centre show how we are working hard to assist vulnerable people.
“Free school meals also have an important role to play, with these payments making a real difference for families across Dundee.”