PARENTS in Thurrock are backing a Government scheme of free school meals for infant school children, in which they stand to save £2.3million a year.

The initiative will be introduced in the new school year.

The Government estimates 5,800 children in the borough – aged between four and seven – will be eligible for free lunches, saving parents £400 per child – the estimated annual spend on school lunches.

Free meals for children over seven will continue to be means-tested.

Commenting on the Gazette’s Facebook page, Emma Webster, whose son starts school in 2015, said: “It’s about time working families received something back, and I think it’s a great initiative.

“I’ll definitely give school meals a chance when my boy starts.”

Rebecca Smith commented: “It’s a good idea, as long as the foods are healthy and taste good.”

The Government says parents can rest assured their young ones will receive a healthy and nutritious lunch.