President Francina Armengol.

President Armengol, speaking in parliament today (Tuesday), has announced that a series of extraordinary and urgent measures will be introduced this week to help families and children who are living in an “emergency situation.” These will apply to school meals and to other “basic” issues.

Responding to a question from Laura Camargo, the Podemos spokesperson, the president said that next year there will be a significant increase in the budget for school meals, as the 900,000 euros which are currently budgeted are insufficient. This, she continued, was the consequence of the legacy of the previous government, one by which grants for the third term of the 2014-2015 school year had not been provided for and so hadn’t been paid. There had been provision for grants for the second term but these had also not been paid.

The immediate solution, she said, was for the second-term grants - to the value of some 230,000 euros - to be paid, while those for the third term will be paid as soon as possible. Armengol added that the current rules on school meals need to be amended so that parents do not have to pay out in advance, often with money they can ill afford to spend.

Camargo noted that, according to FAPA, the federation of parents’ associations, 684 families had been affected by not having assistance with paying for school meals.