Welsh Government invests £25m to kickstart free school meals scheme
The policy is part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, which will see free school meals extended to all primary school pupils over the next three years. From September, some of the youngest children in primary schools will begin receiving free school meals as the policy is introduced in a phased way.
Revenue funding of up to £200m has been set aside for local authorities to deliver the commitment, with £40m to be provided in 2022-23, £70m in 2023-24 and £90m in 2024-25.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Together we have made a joint commitment that no child in Wales should go hungry and that every child in our primary schools will be able to have a free school meal.
“We are facing an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis. We know younger children are more likely to be living in relative income poverty, which is why the youngest of our learners will be the first to benefit. This cost-of-living crisis is being felt by families all over Wales – extending free school meals is one of a number of measures we are taking to support families through this difficult time.”