South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the announcement that children in Dumfries and Galloway who are eligible for free school meals will be among those who continue to be supported over the summer through a package of £27.6 million of additional funding from the Scottish Government.
Dumfries and Galloway will receive £352,000 funding from the SNP government to support the continued provision of free school meals during the summer holiday period, and £506,000 for the wider provision of food support.
This funding will ensure that Dumfries and Galloway is able to continue the provision of free school meals during the summer holidays and other food provision to help low income families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“We know that this pandemic has put real financial pressure on families, and it’s right that the Scottish Government has ensured Dumfries and Galloway can continue to provide free school meals and support families, children and young people who need some extra help at this challenging time.
“Free school meals are vital for families across the region and an important way of ensuring their children receive the nutritious food they need. That is why it is so important that support continues while schools remain closed.
“This extra support will make a huge difference to children and their families in Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland, and help to ensure the most vulnerable people in our society receive support during this pandemic.
Individuals who are unable to access or afford food and cannot get the help they need from family, friends or neighbours are encouraged to call the national assistance helpline. The free helpline number is 0800 111 4000, or can be contacted via a textphone on 0800 111 4114. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.
Callers will be put through to speak to someone at their local council. They’ll be able to advise on what types of help are available. This might include:
– food, if you’re not able to get the day-to-day food you need
– medication, if you’re not able to pick up the prescriptions you need
– access to local social work services
– emotional support
– contact with local volunteer groups