Glasgow campaigner urges council to reinstate free fruit for school pupils

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A Glasgow campaigner pushing for free fruit provision to be returned to city schools had hoped the scheme might be rolled out nationwide before it was scrapped.

Garrett Ramsay, who volunteers at Help for the Homeless, previously launched the initiative for free fruit in local primary schools in Drumchapel before it spread throughout the city. 

The aim was to help young people access fruit prior to starting lessons, encourage them to eat one of their five-a-day and help them to concentrate during their lessons.

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In August Mr Ramsay was informed that the funding for the project, previously allocated from the area partnership committees, would not be made available in the coming school year.

He now wants to engage with the local authority about his experiences with the fruit scheme and why he believes it’s vital it be reinstated. 

Garrett Ramsay said: “The fruit for the schools was funded and we had managed to get some funding through the community area partnership.

“After that it was taken on at a higher level and was rolled out to every school in Glasgow but the funding stopped at the start of the school year there so no schools have received any fruit through that project.

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“When the project was running there were two deliveries of fruit made a week so that meant it was fresh but when it got cut we asked if it could be delivered once a week but there has been nothing at the moment. 

“So we are trying to get it back, raise awareness and bring it into people’s radar. 

“What we have done locally is approached supermarkets for donations in Anniesland who have given us fruit which is amazing but it is a small amount of fruit compared to what we received in the past.

“It isn’t enough but that’s not on them – it’s what they can afford to give and it’s brilliant and it is a great start. 

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“This initiative is something that I had hoped would be adopted into every school in Scotland and longer term in Britain because it is a leveller for everyone.

“This is a basic need because it allows kids to have something in their stomach, allows them to concentrate and be the best student they can be and feel normal in a class.”

Glasgow City Council previously highlighted that the free school fruit was a specific pilot that came to an end a couple of years ago and pupils have access to fruit as part of their free school meals in primary schools.

A council spokeswoman said: “The free school fruit was a specific council pilot that came to an end a couple of years ago and pupils have access to fruit as part of their free school meals each day in primary schools.”

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