Children at risk of social exclusion have lost their right to three meals a day with the start of the new school year on Thursday (September 10).
As the new year kicks in for primary and infant schools in the province, Malaga’s meal guarantee scheme has ended and children will only have access to school lunches as of Thursday. For the 2014-2015 school year, snack bags were not delivered to needy city youngsters until January.
Over the summer children from poverty-stricken families have been given meals via two specific schemes, one from the Junta de Andalucia regional government at summer camps and schools, and another in August from Malaga City Council and Caritas charity, which approved an emergency budget to provide 1,311 three to 12 year-olds in the city with a hot meal at lunchtime and bags with food for tea and breakfast.
Although summer schools and camps ceased at the end of August, the schemes continued into this month to ensure the children didn’t go hungry, yet now that school is starting the schemes have been cancelled. While the children will have their hot lunch there is no fixed date for tea and breakfast bag deliveries to start.
“They’re asking for lists of children who need the bags but the process takes time and I fear the first term will be over before families in need get their food,” one headmaster commented.