AN investigation by the Scottish Greens has revealed that children and families in Fife have accrued £55,455 of school meals debt.

In Scotland as a whole the total is more than £1 million.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP, Mark Ruskell, has said that the debt should be written off, and Scotland should move to a system like that operated in Finland where children are provided with free meals.

Mr Ruskell said: “Children in Fife, and across the country, are going hungry. We know that means-tested free schools means missing out for far too many families who need them.

“If it is serious about closing the attainment gap, the Scottish Government should follow the example of Finland, by providing all pupils with access to a free, nutritious breakfast and lunch, including during school holidays.

“The first step towards that would be writing off this frankly astonishing and growing debt.”

The Cafe Inc initiative, which serves all the communities in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area, provides meals during the school holidays at community centres and schools and the service is offered throughout the county.