Extra dining staff will be recruited to Moray primary schools to help meet growing demand for a free meals scheme.
A national programme to supply all youngsters from primary one to primary three with a free lunch started earlier this year.
The scheme has proven popular in Moray, with 77% of eligible pupils taking advantage of the offer.
But serving up an increased number of meals has placed a burden on canteen staff, with some schools struggling to ensure every child is fed during lunchtime.
Moray Council’s corporate director for education and social care, Laurence Findlay, yesterday said schools had been “stretched” by the initiative.
And yesterday the authority’s children and young peoples services committee agreed to back a £36,200 plan to recruit new workers and the expand existing hours.
Elgin City North councillor Mike Shand said: “I greatly welcomed this report, and was pleased to see how popular the free meals scheme has been.”
Since January, the area’s primary schools have been dishing out an average of 2,458 free meals every day.
Extra lunchtime supervisors and staff hours will be allocated to schools according to how many pupils they have.
Though funding was provided to help with the scheme, this has mostly been used to cover the costs of supplying extra dinners.
The proposal will go before the council’s policy and resources committee for final approval.