A ‘disappointing’ decision to stop giving Glasgow primary children free fruit in the morning has been criticised by a councillor who pointed out some pupils relied on it for “breakfast".

The provision of the extra snack ended in March this year, after it began as a pilot under Covid recovery measures in October 2021.

Councillor Christina Cannon, SNP, said uptake was “inconsistent” and fruit went to waste when asked by councillor Jill Brown why the pilot has been “discontinued.”  

Labour councillor Brown said that information did not tally with feedback received and she had heard “children were waiting” on the fruit being delivered.

She said: “At a time when the cost of fresh fruit is rising this was for many children one of few if any opportunities to be able to access fruit. Really disappointing that it is not being prioritised. ”

Councillor Brown told Thursday’s Glasgow full council meeting that sometimes children were “relying on it for breakfast” and claimed school meal sizes are decreasing. 

Councillor Cannon said: “I don’t think we can be criticised as a council for not doing enough for food (provision).”

She added: “We need to make sure investment is going to the right place.”

And she pointed out fruit is available at lunchtime. 

The convenor for education and early years highlighted some of the work the council has been carrying out to help tackle food poverty amid the cost of living crisis including cancelling school meal debt and supporting the pantry network. 

She said “food provision is at the heart of everything we do” and highlighted how the council has scooped a Food for Life Served Here bronze award for serving up fresh, local and sustainable meals.

The free fruit scheme was paid for by a “one-off investment from the council and Scottish Government Covid recovery funding” according to a council statement as it launched. 

The programme also saw secondary school pupils eligible for free school meals getting a hot snack in the mid morning.