Ken Skates has welcomed the announcement from the Welsh Labour Government that it will be investing £25m in school kitchens and dining facilities, as part of its plans to roll out free school meals to all primary school children.
From September, some of the youngest children in primary schools will begin receiving free school meals as the policy is introduced in a phased way.
Working with schools and local authorities, the Welsh Government will plan and prepare the infrastructure needed for all primary aged pupils to receive free school meals by September 2024.
Revenue funding of up to £200m has been set aside for local authorities to deliver the commitment, with £40m to be provided in 2022-23; £70m in 2023-24 and £90m in 2024-25.
Welcoming the funding, Clwyd South MS Ken Skates said: “I am committed to ensuring that no child in Clwyd South should go hungry and that every child in our primary schools will be able to have a free school meal.
“We are facing an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis. The Welsh Government knows younger children are more likely to be living in relative income poverty, which is why the youngest of our learners will be the first to benefit.
“This cost-of-living crisis is already being felt by families in Clwyd South. Extending free school meals is one of a number of measures the Welsh Labour Government is taking to support people through this difficult time.”
The policy is part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, and will see free school meals extended to all primary school pupils over the next three years.