PARENTS across the county could save up to £6.3million a year following the introduction of free school meals.
From the beginning of next month a total of 15,864 four to seven-year-olds will be eligible for free dinners as part of a new scheme by the Government.
In Worcestershire all schools will provide a healthy meal and 98 per cent will be able to provide a hot meal by the start of the autumn term.
It means parents who previously provided lunches for their children could save up to £400 a year.
The free meals will still be means tested for children in Year 3 onwards.
The scheme is part of a raft of measures by the Government to try and improve what children eat at school and it is hoped it will reduce childhood obesity.
Money is also being pumped into schools to improve kitchen and dining facilities and as of September cooking will also be back on the curriculum.
Coun Liz Eyre, cabinet member for children and families on Worcestershire County Council, said: “The free school meal scheme is a great incentive for both parents and children.
“Children are able to take advantage of nutritious meal that will contain all the goodness they already receive at home with their evening meal. For the parents, there is both a financial saving and a reassurance that their child will be happy and well fed while at school.”