A MASSIVE operation to feed almost 3,000 children during the school shutdown swung into action yesterday.

Pupils entitled to free school meals can still receive lunch at one of 12 centres set up across the area.

Inverclyde Council has ensured that all pupils who would usually have lunch in school do not miss out during the closures brought by coronavirus.

Staff are packaging up and handing out 2,994 lunches per day.

Councillor Jim Clocherty said: "It's really important young people in the area can have some normality at this time.

"We are doing our best to make this as accessible as possible, with staff delivering to those who perhaps cannot get to the centres.

"We'll not turn away anyone who turns up.

"This is the time to support each other in anyway that we can."

Many Inverclyde Council staff volunteered to redeploy to the centres to help with the operation.

One of them, Mark Frith from the community learning and development team, said: "It's uncertain times and it's great that we can change roles and assist with what's currently going on.

"Everyone has rallied round and people are doing their bit to help the young people of Inverclyde."

Anyone who requires a free packed lunch is welcome to attend any of the centres between noon and 2pm.

The council's education service says it has informed all those eligible where they should go to collect their meal.

The 12 centres across Inverclyde are at 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.