Aberdeen to launch free holiday meals programme for children

A new pilot programme to offer meals to children during holidays has been agreed by Councillors.

The programme will begin at Tullos School for one week in Easter 2017, before being rolled out wider during both the Easter and Summer breaks.

Members of the Finance, Policy and Resources Committee approved the programme yesterday (2 November) as part of the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) to help break the cycle of poverty that exists for low-income families in Aberdeen.

Officers will now develop the food programme for families most in need by offering spaces firstly to those who were entitled to Free School Meals (FSM).

The programme is the first food initiative taken forward since Aberdeen became the latest city to join the fastest growing social movement in the UK – the Sustainable Food Cities network (SFC).

The initiative aims to tackle issues of food poverty, diet-related ill health, obesity and barriers to healthy food all the while promoting the creation of a sustainable food economy and vibrant food culture through public, private and third sector partnerships alongside Aberdeenshire Council.

Aberdeen City Council Finance, Policy and Resources Committee convener Councillor Willie Young said: “Programmes such as Northfield Total Place have already developed food initiatives which bring together families and communities to eat healthily while accessing play and learning opportunities and potential skills development for parents.

“We are gathering evidence which supports the profound positive impact this can have on families where food poverty acts as a barrier.

“With this new programme, we can ensure children in Aberdeen receive their most basic need of healthy, nutritious meals all year round.”