AROUND 2,000 school children in Neath Port Talbot are set to receive free school meals next month, with all children in primary years three and four now entitled to universal free school meals.
In all, 1,908 children across the borough will automatically receive free school meals directly through their school at the start of the summer term this year, beginning from Monday, April 17.
The scheme is a part of the Welsh Government’s commitment for every primary school pupil to receive a free school meal by 2024.
Parents will not have to apply.
The rollout in Neath Port Talbot started with reception children in September 2022 followed by the roll-out to years one and two in November of 2022.
More than £1.5m is also being invested to improve school kitchens and updating equipment, as the council prepare to extend the scheme to the remaining primary school year groups in a phased approach, to make sure catering teams are able to manage the additional demand.
Councillor Nia Jenkins said: “The Welsh Government’s free school meals pledge is more important than ever during the current cost-of-living crisis.
“I am pleased that we are able to continue the rollout ahead of schedule, and I am sure this announcement will be welcomed by many parents and carers who are struggling at the moment.
“We would ask for your patience as we build capacity to ensure a successful phased implementation, and we will continue to provide updates as we have more details on the rollout to further year groups.”