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Nicola Sturgeon under pressure to fund free school meals for secondary pupils amid cost of living

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dailyrecord.co.uk

Nicola Sturgeon is under pressure to fund universal free school meals for secondary school pupils to combat “horrifying” food price increases feared to be leaving children hungry.

The Bank of England has warned that supermarket bills and other household costs will continue to rocket until the end of the year, driving thousands of parents and carers below the poverty line.

Lesley Davidson, who runs a Loaves And Fishes food bank, has seen “unprecedented demand” from mums and dads terrified of having to send children to school on an empty stomach.She said: “Providing a meal for all primary and secondary children at school is a no-brainer.“It is the most fundamental responsibility of government to make sure children are not going hungry.”The Sunday Mail has learned Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem MSPs have all indicated support for a Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) campaign to give all pupils access to a meal at school if they want one.They backed an amendment to the Good Food Nation Bill, now being considered by the Scottish Parliament, to include universal provision in the new legislation.The amendment – tabled by Labour’s Monica Lennon at Holyrood’s rural affairs, islands and natural environment committee – was only rejected by MSPs from the SNP and coalition partners the Greens.Lennon said: “No child should be going hungry in a country as rich as ours.

Expanding access to universal free school meals will reduce child poverty and stop hunger holding back the next generation.“With the cost-of-living crisis hitting families hard, I am proud to have taken the argument for expanding universal free school meals to the Scottish Parliament, because our ambitions for children and young people should not stop at the

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