A SELFLESS teacher is on a mission to stop Scottish school kids going home hungry with her anti-food waste project.

Carrie Smith launched a system at Cumnock that gathers lunch left-overs and transforms them into dinners for pupils.

The initiative was so successful with local pupils she now is trying to get it rolled out across the country to help feed more children.

The P.E teacher launched the project about a year ago after becoming worried that some pupils weren’t promised a decent meal when they got in from school.

But the scheme isn’t targeted towards deprived kids as isn’t means tested and no registers are taken for the kids.

It means it kids free to come and go discreetly to pick up containers of food to avoid any stigma.

This also means it costs little to run as staff aren’t needed to watch children pick up tubs and they already have the food from lunch.

Since launching in Cumnock other schools have gotten in touch to find out how they can take it on board.

Brian Whittle also visited the scheme and was so impressed he took it Parliament to ask if it could be rolled out across Scotland since it’s so cheap and beneficial to schools.

Carrie said: “It isn’t means tested which means it doesn’t just target deprived kids it’s open to everyone which takes the stigma away.

“It is really is just so the kids have once less thing to worry about, I don’t want any pupils going home wondering if they will have dinner.

“The dream is just to chuck food waste in the bin completely, if we can save any food from just being thrown out then it’s a win.

“I just saw how much was getting binned after lunch time and thought there’s some kids who could really use that instead which triggered the idea.

“Basically we gather all the leftovers from lunch and package it up in containers and the kids can collect it at the end of the day if they want.

“The containers are definitely getting used. We don’t strictly monitor the room or take registers they can be discreet if they want and collect and go.

“We launched the project about a year ago and since then other schools have gotten in touch to see how we do it and our local MP got in touch to see how its used and has even taken it to Parliament.

“We call it surplus food instead of waste or leftovers so people don’t think it's just scraps, it’s good quality stuff.

“The pupils are engaging well with it there’s never any of it getting chucked about or abused, they respect the system.

“It runs itself which is great, teachers will pop in and out now and then but it’s really self sufficient.

“That means it costs very little to run since we don’t need staff to monitor it and we have the food anyway, really the only cost is the tubs and allergy labels which aren’t expensive.

“It would be fantastic to see it rolled out across the country I really believe it would help a lot of kids and also stop perfectly good food being binned.”

Brian Whittle said “This project at Cumnock Academy is a great example of a simple way to can reduce food waste and give pupils greater access to healthy meals.

“I’ve written to East Ayrshire Council’s Chief Executive highlighting the initiative and lodged a motion in Parliament recognising the achievements of the team behind it.

“The kind of food a person eats has a big impact on their health and it can affect how pupils perform in the classroom too. Giving pupils the opportunity to take surplus school meals home can not only benefit them but their families too.

“I completely support Carrie’s aim to roll this project out to schools across Scotland and I’ll do everything I can to promote it to the Scottish Government and local councils.”