FIFE Council's hugely successful Cafe Inc will be serving up free lunches across the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area during the upcoming school holidays.

The drop-in, free, lunch scheme Café Inc., served up an amazing 7,150 meals during the Easter holidays and is all set to expand across Fife this summer. The service will run at various venues to provide a free, midday meal for local children, young people and families.

In the Cowden-Gelly district lunches are available at Lochgelly West, Benarty, Foulford and Denend Primary Schools, Monday to Friday 11.45 to 1pm.

Also at Kelty Centre, Benarty Centre, Maxwell Centre, Bowhill Centre, Lochgelly Town Hall, Monday to Friday 11.45 to 1pm.

People should remember all community centres are shut on July 15, lunches will only be available at the schools on this day.

For more information on what’s happening throughout the holidays keep checking the the Council Cowdenbeath Facebook page.

Councillors agreed the scheme as part of their budget for 2019/20 with a view to reducing poverty and helping towards a Fairer Fife. The scheme is open to all children, young people, parents and families during the summer holidays

Cllr Judy Hamilton , Convener 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. For some of those families to provide an extra meal at home for a child or a number of siblings creates a breaking point, where school holidays are dreaded. Foodbank referrals are increased as families are stretched to the limit. Last year, it is estimated that Foodbanks gave out almost half a million food parcels in Scotland.

"Hungry children – and the underlying causes of child-poverty are well-documented – zero-hour contracts; benefit sanctions; homelessness; ill-health; Universal Credit . We want to do something for those children who need our support NOW.

"We invested £400k 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 initially trialled this in a localised way, in the Lochgelly /Cowdenbeath area and it was hugely popular. This just hit home to us how vital this type of support can be to families. I visited the scheme during the holidays and heard first-hand the real difference that it made to families."

Open to children, young people and families, free lunches will be available in a number of schools and community facilities. No need to book or register for lunch, just drop in and enjoy some food and fun.

Councillor Hamilton concluded: "It's a very sad fact that during school holidays many children 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 fighting this head on."

It is recommended children under 10 are accompanied by an adult.