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5 January 2015, 07:08
Schools across Scotland began serving up free school meals to every Primary 1-3 pupil today.
The expanded scheme will benefit an additional 135,000 children, and will save families of every eligible child at least £330 a year, the Scottish Government said.
The Government is providing funding of just over £95 million over two years to help councils deliver the scheme.
Speaking on a visit to her old primary school, Dreghorn Primary, in North Ayrshire, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "This is an exciting and historic day for Scottish education.
"It's the beginning of a new year, a new school term and free school meals are now on the menu for all Primary 1-3s.
"Great things are going on at schools across Scotland and it's a privilege to be back at Dreghorn Primary as First Minister, as my experiences here had a huge role in shaping my life.''
Ms Sturgeon said the policy underlines the Government's commitment to supporting the development of young people and tackling inequalities, including child poverty.
"School lunches are hugely important in supporting a pupil's ability to learn. We know from recent studies that free school meals improve nutrition and health among pupils, which can only help improve attainment in schools,'' she added.
"Here at Dreghorn, the headteacher, Philip Gosnay, and his team have done a great job to prepare for the expansion of free school meals and I know that all over Scotland other councils and schools have been doing all they can to ensure our nation's future will reap the benefits.''