IT'S back to school season and I still vaguely remember my own mixed emotions at this time of year.

Excitement about seeing friends after a seven-week break but a little disappointed that I would no longer be able to play all day.

I think the reason for my reminiscing is the council’s own summer recess.

While the work of helping constituents doesn’t end, there are no committee meetings for several weeks. You spend less time in the office and see fewer colleagues.

Returning after summer recess feels a lot like the first day back at school.

During my own days at school, I received free school dinners.

When the holidays came around, I didn’t require any less food but, without free school meals, things were tougher financially for my mum.

Knowing how tough this was for us, and no doubt countless other families, it made me extremely proud when our SNP administration in Glasgow introduced the holiday food programme.

This programme, along with our expansion of free school meals, is essential to the health, well-being and development of our young people.

In my capacity as a local councillor, I had the privilege this summer to see the now-expanded food and activity programme in action for myself.

I visited community-led group Linkes, in Knightswood.

Along with Councillor Chris Cunningham, I also visited voluntary organisation FARE, based at Knightswood Secondary.

These organisations, along with others such as Well-Fed, in South Street, do incredible work delivering the programme.

Seeing the joy of the children as they took part in fun and healthy activities whilst also receiving essential nourishment filled me with a great sense of pride.

These children don’t know anything different but, for those of us who remember how things were before the food and activity programme, it crystallises just how important it is.

In my opinion, it is the most important initiative this city has delivered in my lifetime.

I look forward to visiting these organisations again during the school holidays throughout the year.

So, the very successful summer food and activity programme has drawn to a close and, as I return to the office following summer recess, I have an enhanced motivation to work harder over the next council year.

Having seen up close the tangible effect we can have on people’s lives, we must work even harder to make life better for everyone we have the privilege to represent.