Eligible school students across Renfrewshire will continue to receive free school meals through the holidays thanks to funding announced by the Scottish Government.

£10 million is being made available across Scotland to local councils to ensure free school meals continue to be provided over the Christmas, February, and Easter holidays.

Nearly 5,500 pupils in Renfrewshire benefit from free school meals, but would normally miss out once schools close for holidays.

The cash boost will ensure eligible families can continue to receive meals or vouchers to help their children, providing essential support for many during the coronavirus crisis.

Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP, Gavin Newlands MP, said: “This extra £10 million of funding for council to provide free school meals during the holidays is great news and is exactly how our Government should be supporting those most in need at this time.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on our economy and in many cases has pushed households into huge financial pressures. Making sure children continue to have nutritious meals even when schools are on a break gives families real and welcome support when they most need it.

“It’s now time for the UK Government to see sense and support these households as well – by abandoning their planned cuts to Universal Credit and extending the current £20 uplift to legacy benefits as well.

“Attacking the poor is not just morally wrong, it’s economically illiterate as well, with every pound the UK Government cutting representing a pound lost from out high streets and our economy at a time when our communities most badly need it.

“If the UK Government have billions to shovel out in contracts to their chums and donors, and write off Dominic Cumming’s council tax bill, they have the money to ensure our citizens are treated with dignity and respect, and if they won’t use the powers they have to make that happen, they should hand them over to the Scottish Government who do.”