THERE will be free hot meals for children, young people and their families in the Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly areas over the Easter holidays as part of a £400,000 scheme.

Fife Council is piloting a new lunch club, Cafe Inc, at various venues to provide a midday meal and other activities as part of their anti-poverty moves.

Councillors agreed the scheme as part of their 2019-20 budget and it’s open to all families who may be struggling financially over the school holidays.

Judy Hamilton, convenor of the community and housing services committee, said: “We provide free school meals during term-time for over 9,000 pupils across Fife.

“But we know that there's a lot of pressure on all families during the school holidays.

“There is voluntary and third sector provision available and we will continue to work with them but we really wanted to extend that help to everyone.

"We have invested £400,000 in a year-long trial of free lunch provision during school holidays, in a partnership between communities and neighbourhoods, education and children’s services and facilities management.

“We are testing this initially in the Lochgelly/Cowdenbeath areas and we'll take on board any feedback before rolling this out across Fife during the summer holidays."

Hot meals will be available at St Kenneth's, Lumphinnans, Benarty and Lochgelly West primary schools between 11.45am and 1.30pm Monday to Friday. The initiative started this week and will run until April 19.

In addition, the Maxwell Centre in Cowdenbeath, as well as the Kelty, Bowhill, Benarty and Lochgelly centres are offering various junior (8-12) and senior (12-18) activity sessions with lunch available to all.

Cllr Hamilton added: "It's a very sad fact that, during school holidays, many children in Fife go hungry.

“We don't think this is acceptable for any of our children and as part of our drive towards a Fairer Fife, we are putting investment in place to try to combat this.

“The feedback from this Easter trial will help us to work out how best we can serve our communities and work out how best we can deliver this service to them.

“I'd urge anyone to come along and enjoy a family lunch with some friendly chat and fun."

There’s no need to book or register for lunch, you can just drop in, but you can sign up for the activity sessions. Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult.