Last Saturday SSP campaigners were out on Princes Street gathering support for our bill to introduce healthy nutritious free school meals for all Scotland's children.
- One in three youngsters in Scotland are growing up in poverty [these are the governments own figures] and as bad as that is in a wealthy little country like ours the fact is that less than half of them qualify for free school meals. And to make matters worse many of those who do qualify refuse to eat them because of the stigma of them being ‘only for poor kids’ as they see it. All of this means that many many children in Scotland go without the healthy start that they need and eat a much poorer diet.
- 16% of children admitted to Edinburgh’s Sick Kids hospital last year showed signs of malnutrition. Can you believe that in a city as rich as this one that our children do not get enough to eat or are eating all the wrong things.
- Consequential to eating all the wrong , cheaper things is that childhood obesity rates are spiralling out of control.
These are just some of the problems our Bill seeks to solve. The Free School Meals Bill would guarantee every child a hot nutritious free school meal every day. If it is available to everyone then no child will be left behind – that’s the great benefit of universal provision, long an important socialist principle.
As part of the SSP’s campaign a series of public meetings have been arranged throughout Scotland in the coming 3 months.
The Bill is now in front of the scrutinising committees in the Scottish Parliament and will be debated in full in early January. The important thing now is to rachet up the pressure on MSP’s from all parties to support the Bill.