Free school meals for reception pupils begin at local primary schools

The start of the 2022 autumn term has coincided with the launch of a new initiative to ensure that primary school children will not go hungry.

Starting today, all children who attend reception classes at primary schools across Bridgend County Borough will be offered the option of a free school meal.

The move marks the first phase in the roll-out of the Universal Primary Free School Meals scheme – a £25m Welsh Government initiative that will help ease the burden of the ongoing cost of living crisis.

As part of this Wales-wide scheme, Bridgend County Borough Council has been awarded £1.1m to improve and refurbish school kitchen facilities to support the initiative, which is on track to cover all primary school year groups over the next two years.

Cllr Jon-Paul Blundell, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “We fully support this Welsh Government initiative, which has been launched at a time when it will also help local families cope with the difficulties and challenges of the cost of living crisis.

“The initial phase is targeting the youngest learners within the community, and the next phase of the plan will see the offer extended to pupils in Years One and Two before moving on to target children in Years Four, Five and Six.

“Progress is being monitored carefully, and our aim is to ensure that by 2024, all primary school children will receive the offer of a free school meal.”