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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 March, 2004, 13:05 GMT
Free school meals plan approved
School dinners
For many children, lunch is the most nutritious meal of the day
Primary schoolchildren in Hull will receive free meals, the city council has confirmed.

The 1.7m scheme will be rolled out to 15 schools from early April after councillors voted for the measure at an extraordinary meeting on Monday.

The plan, which could eventually cover 80 primary schools, was passed on the casting vote of the Lord Mayor, Labour member Ken Branson.

Labour made the free meals pledge in its election manifesto last year.

Whole of city

But opposition parties argued that it would lead to cuts in services elsewhere.

Another vote will have to be taken by the council in July if the scheme is to be expanded to cover the whole of the city.

Hull is thought to be the first education authority in the UK to attempt to offer free breakfasts and lunches to all its primary children.

The Child Poverty Action Group has welcomed the move.

Healthy eating

In a statement it said: "Our work has shown that many children from low income families rely on the free meal as the most nutritious meal of their day."

A spokeswoman for Hull City Council said school menus had already been changed to encourage healthy eating with burgers banned and chips not available every day.

A typical menu might give a choice of roast turkey or sausages with vegetables with sticky prune cake to follow.

As well as breakfast and lunches, fresh fruit will be available at after-school clubs.

Pupils promised free school meals
13 Feb 04  |  Education

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