A fund to help schools give free meals to more children has been praised by a Keighley councillor.

Jan Smithies has urged headteachers to sign up to the School Meals Hardship Fund if they have pupils in need.

The fund enables schools to subsidise meals for youngsters who turn up without the money for lunch. The district’s Child Poverty Board runs the scheme, with funding from Bradford Council and Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Coun Smithies said: “Many local families are struggling financially, and often their funds do not last the whole period before the next wage or benefit payment is due.

“School meals can often be the only source of a good, nutritious meal for a child. Going hungry impacts children’s mood and behaviour, ability to concentrate and the potential for longer-term health problems.”