by Roz Paterson
Seventy-five years ago, Finland decided to start feeding its children, irrespective of background, family situation or socio-economic status.
In other words, this beleaguered nation, at the time being hammered by Stalin, chose to invest in its upcoming generation, through providing free, nutritious meals for all, to support their learning, well-being and development.
Nothing fancy, you understand. Porridge, bread, milk. But every day, to everyone.
Here in Scotland, the penny has nearly dropped. North Lanarkshire Council, surveying the ruins of a failing neoliberal economy and its austere flip-side, has come to the conclusion that leaving children to go hungry for days on end, to the detriment of their health and education, is actually not good enough.
Starting this Easter, they have committed, if the pilot programme goes well, to providing free lunches to all those children currently in receipt of free school meals, throughout the holidays, amounting to an extra 175 days a year.