Plaid Cymru MS Heledd Fychan has welcomed today’s announcement that £70 million in funding will support the next stage in the expansion of free school meals in all primary schools in Wales, thanks to the Co-operation Agreement between Plaid and the Welsh Government.
From September 2023, most Welsh Local Authorities areas will provide school meals for children in years 3 and 4. The programme will then expand further in April 2024, reaching years five and six.
Where local authorities are able to reach these year groups ahead of these milestones they have been funded to do so.
£260m has been committed to implement the programme in Wales over three years. This included £60m of capital funding for local authorities invested over the last two years to support improvements to school kitchen facilities, including purchasing equipment and updating digital systems.
As part of Plaid Cymru’s Cooperation Agreement with the Welsh Government, every primary school pupil in Wales will be eligible for free school meals by 2024.
At a recent visit to Ysgol Garth Olwg, Heledd saw the policy in action during a busy lunchtime in the canteen and speaking following the visit, she said: "It was great to visit Ysgol Garth Olwg, and see pupils enjoying a tasty and nutritious meal as a result of the Co-operation agreement.
"Personally, I would like to see the provision being expanded to secondary age pupils too - something which I and my Plaid Cymru colleagues will continue to push for."