Council offers half price school meals as pupils return

The price of schools meals across East Ayrshire will be slashed by 50% during the last two weeks in August, thanks to the Council’s creative application of the UK government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.  

The national scheme offers discounts on eating out in restaurants and cafes up to the value of £10 per head throughout the month of August, for the first three days of the week, Monday- Wednesday. But the Council has gone one step further, by subsidising the scheme to enable pupils and parents to take advantage of discounted school meals throughout the whole school week, for two weeks, commencing Monday 17 August.

The inspired move by the Council means that pupils will receive 10 days of meals for just £10.80 in the first two weeks of term – a price that will be hard to beat anywhere else!

Andrew Kennedy, Head of Facilities and Property Management at East Ayrshire Council explained:

“Having looked into the possibility of applying the scheme to schools meals, we realised there was much more we could do to assist families at this time. Food provision has been a major concern for us throughout lockdown, and at its peak, we were providing over 7000 meals per day to children and families in need of assistance.

“By applying the scheme to schools meals and extending it to the full school week at the start of the term, we are ensuring our young people can access fresh, healthy and affordable food in a COVID-safe environment.  

“To be eligible for the scheme, food must be purchased and consumed on the school premises – and this is something we will be actively encouraging as part of our health and safety measures being put in place when pupils return next week.

Councillor Fiona Campbell, cabinet spokesperson for Skills and Learning welcomed the initiative. She said: “Our catering team must be commended for their creativity in applying this scheme. Many families have struggled during lockdown and this gives them a helping hand as they start to get back to some form of normality, as our young people return to school.

“This is also a great opportunity for pupils to try our school meals, if they don’t normally take them.  We have a long-standing track record for providing nutritious healthy options, using fresh, locally sourced products, so I would urge families to take advantage of this fabulous offer!”

To take advantage of this offer, parents should sign up to Parent Pay and pre-order meal choices. Free meals still apply to those who are eligible.