CIVIC chiefs have vowed to invest £50k in ensuring child hunger is “eliminated” by 2025 in Southampton.

Southampton City Council (SCC) are to fund ten schools to ensure that no child goes hungry so that they have the “best chance in life” by launching their new programme today.

The £50,000 will be invested during the 2019-2020 academic school year.

As the new school term starts, SCC is launching a pilot scheme to provide free fruit, vegetables and yoghurt to schoolchildren up to the age of 11-years-old.

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More than 2,000 children attending ten schools across the city are expected to benefit from the council-funded scheme.

Called Feed the Future, the pilot will run in partnership with the charity, FareShare, for the duration of the academic year with future budgets set to provide long-term funding.

The food will be from FareShare and is high quality food that has not been sold and reasons include errors with food packaging or being surplus due to overproduction

From September, pupils at Weston Park, Shirley Warren, Newlands, Mansbridge Primary, Redbridge and Swaythling Primary schools will all be receiving produce as part of the Feed the Future scheme.

By the end of October, Thornhill, Valentine, Wordsworth and Hightown Primary Schools will join the scheme.

The schools chosen were schools that expressed interest in the scheme and were then selected on proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals.

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Speaking at a visit Weston Park Primary School, Councillor Christopher Hammond, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “No child should be sitting in lessons, unable to learn and open their minds because they’re hungry.

“Sadly, this is happening every day and it’s an injustice and a barrier to a good education. This Council will take action to stop this happening.

“With Feed the Future, we are prioritising action to end childhood hunger in Southampton, support families struggling to make ends meet, and promote the best education that Southampton can provide.

“This is the start of our aspiration to eliminate child hunger in Southampton by 2025.”