CHILDREN across Inverclyde who are entitled to free school meals will continue to receive lunch while the schools are closed.

During the shutdown - which takes effect from Monday - council staff will make 2,994 free school packed lunches available to pupils across the area.

Lunches will be available at one of 12 centres each day between noon and 2pm for each child currently entitled to a free school meal and a clothing grant.

The council’s education service will be in touch with parents directly to let them know where their child's packed lunch will be available.

Some vulnerable pupils across Inverclyde who will be unable to travel to the centres will have their packed lunch delivered to their home.

Councillor Jim Clocherty said: "Life is changing for all of us at this time and it is unprecedented that our schools could be closed up to the summer, potentially.

"While we won’t be able to provide the hot food options we can in school, we will make sure that every young person entitled to a free meal will not go hungry at lunchtime while our schools are closed.

"This is a large undertaking to deliver food remotely at 12 locations during a time when staffing levels are severely limited across all organisations but our commitment is to keep this going for as long as our young people need us and as long as we can.

If we can provide one constant in the lives of our young people each day for as long as we can while schools are closed, that will help to make sure that our lives have some normality during these extraordinary times."

The 12 centres are: Kilmacolm Community Centre, iYouth Zone Port Glasgow, Port Glasgow Town Hall, Gibshill Community Centre, Auchmountain Resource Centre, Broomhill Community Centre, Grieve Road Community hall, Gourock Gamble Halls, St Andrew’s Church hall, Branchton Community Centre, Inverkip Community Hub and Crawfurdsburn Community Centre