With the summer holidays now over, I am sure many of my constituents will have enjoyed spending some much-needed quality time with their families.

With the good weather and many great local activities happening throughout the constituency, from the Riverside Park picnics to the new Kennoway Pump Track, there has certainly been plenty to keep the kids occupied.

The Scottish Parliament is currently in its summer recess period, which has been a great opportunity for me to spend more time out in the constituency. I was pleased to meet some of the many volunteers and Fife Council staff who have been working hard at the Café Inc facilities across our area, ensuring free lunches are available to all children and young people throughout the holidays.

I know the holidays have not been an easy period for everyone, which is why the Café Inc programme has been so important in providing daily, free and nutritious meals. The Scottish Government has provided £21.75 million to help support this targeted free school meal provision throughout the school holidays.

On top of this, the Scottish Government has gone further to support families year-round with the Scottish Child Payment. This payment is designed to help lift children out of poverty, and has now been doubled to £20 per week. By the end of 2022, it will be increased further to £25 per week.

New research from Ipsos Mori shows that this payment, introduced in February 2021, is actively helping to reduce household costs and has contributed to reducing food poverty throughout Scotland.

End Child Poverty figures highlight the local impact of the Scottish Government’s actions to tackle child poverty, as the number of children living in poverty in Fife has reduced by 16.2 per cent in the last year.

As we approach the new school term, the Scottish Government’s School Clothing Grant will support low-income families to buy new uniforms. Eligible families will receive at least £120 per child of primary school age, and £150 per child of secondary school age.

With a cost of living crisis gripping the country, and the reluctance of Westminster to act, I know this is a challenging time for many. The Scottish Government will continue to step up to support families, making a real difference in their everyday lives.

Eligible families can apply for a school clothing grant at www.fife.gov.uk/services/form-pages/apply-for-a-school-clothing-grant-andor-free-school-mealsmilk, or phone Fife Council's education department on 01592 583372.