Many families eligible for free school meals will be given money to feed their children if they are absent due to coronavirus.
Payments are already made during school holidays to those on benefits who are entitled, but some local authorities also give hand-outs where pupils are self-isolating due to Covid-19.
Fife Council is about to start offering the lifeline to those who would struggle with the unexpected extra food costs, and Perth and Kinross Council said it already does so.
Dundee City Council is considering making the payments, while Angus Council is supporting families with supermarket vouchers as an interim measure but may change its approach.
Thousands of school pupils in Tayside and Fife have had to stay at home to isolate after being identified as a close contact of someone with the virus.
One in five children
In Fife, one in five schoolchildren is registered for free school meals, and during lockdown and the recent school holidays those parents were given £11.50 a week per child.
Fife Council’s communities and housing services sub-committee agreed on Tuesday to fund meals for isolating children as it approved holiday payments for the forthcoming Christmas and Easter breaks.
Chairwoman Councillor Judy Hamilton said those eligible for free school meals are the most deprived families.
Having to pay for extra meals when children are suddenly asked to isolate is, she said, “an extra strain that perhaps people weren’t expecting”.
A report by Lauren Bennett, communities and neighbourhoods service policy officer, said: “In the event of a local outbreak of coronavirus, a school or several schools may close temporarily to help control transmission.
“There are also circumstances where schools don’t have to close, but where classes must isolate because of coronavirus and therefore miss out on provision of a free school meal.”
Local authorities were given £6.95 million by the Scottish Government to provide free school meals and tackle food insecurity through the winter breaks, with an additional £3.05m expected for the Easter holidays.