Motherwell nursery row over free fruit

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Education bosses withdrew funding for free fruit to nursery age children over the Christmas period and failed to tell parents, it has been claimed.

An aggrieved parent says that even staff were kept in the dark and that the truth only emerged when a supplier was contacted in a bid to discover when the fruit would arrive.

It is claimed they were told that North Lanarkshire Council had withdrawn its funding and no more fruit would be forthcoming.

The parent, who did not want to be named said: “Now half way through the second week the council have still to inform parents of this change to their child’s care.

“In this current climate of more and more families attending food banks many children will not be getting their five-a-day, putting an increase risk of health and developmental issues. It’s morally unjust behaviour.”

The council has denied nurseries the claims and says that free fruit will be provided by a different scheme.

Councillor Frank McNally, convener of Education and Families, said: “In preparation for the delivery of 1140hrs of funded early learning and childcare, all children who attend morning sessions will receive a nutritious hot lunch – including fruit. And all children who attend afternoon sessions will receive a healthy snack.

“Our ambitious new ‘Loving Lunches’ programme retains the provision of fruit to all settings, which creates a much more comprehensive offering than the previous arrangements.”