Meals boost for fam­i­lies over sum­mer

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

SOME fam­i­lies in Lan­cashire will now re­ceive free school meal vouch­ers dur­ing the school sum­mer hol­i­days.

This follows the launch of the Govern­ment’s Covid Sum­mer Food Fund to sup­port chil­dren who usu­ally re­ceive ben­e­fit­sre­lated free school meals.

Through the fund, schools can sup­port el­i­gi­ble pupils with a £90 voucher to cover the stan­dard six-week hol­i­day pe­riod, or £105 if the sum­mer hol­i­day lasts seven full weeks.

This is an ex­ten­sion of the na­tional voucher scheme.

County Cllr Phillippa Wil­liamson, cab­i­net mem­ber for chil­dren, young peo­ple and schools, said: “This is a re­ally dif­fi­cult time for many peo­ple right now but es­pe­cially so for some fam­i­lies who, through no fault of their own, are find­ing it hard to make ends meet.

“I wel­come this news from the Govern­ment as it means that some el­i­gi­ble fam­i­lies will con­tinue to re­ceive sup­port whilst the schools are closed for the sum­mer.

“The vouch­ers will help to al­le­vi­ate some of the fi­nan­cial pres­sures that many fam­i­lies are fac­ing as a re­sult of the pan­demic.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the sum­mer hol­i­days are a time when some chil­dren are not able to have a healthy and nu­tri­tious free school meal and so these vouch­ers are all the more im­por­tant as fam­i­lies con­tinue to move into what will be the new nor­mal way of liv­ing.”

If a fam­ily is el­i­gi­ble for free school meals, their child’s school will be in touch with them about the voucher scheme.

Par­ents who think their fam­ily is newly el­i­gi­ble should con­tact their child’s school as soon as pos­si­ble.

Vouch­ers must be or­dered by schools through the Edenred por­tal at least one week be­fore the end of term and it will be is­sued to the fam­ily within seven days un­less the school has spec­i­fied a dif­fer­ent dis­tri­bu­tion date.

Par­ents will be is­sued with an eGift card which can be used to buy food at a range of su­per­mar­kets.

Sim­i­lar to the term-time voucher scheme, the vouch­ers can be used at Aldi, Asda, M&S, McColl’s, Morrisons, Sains­bury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose.

Com­pany Shop Group and Ice­land, in­clud­ing The Food Ware­house Stores, have been re­cently added to the list.

Schools can also make al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments for a fam­ily to use an­other su­per­mar­ket, if this is nec­es­sary.

Fam­i­lies can re­deem vouch­ers by ei­ther pre­sent­ing them on their smart­phone or tablet, or a pa­per copy.

Fam­i­lies may be el­i­gi­ble they re­ceive: In­come Sup­port. In­come-based Al­lowance.

In­come-re­lated Em­ploy­ment and Sup­port Al­lowance.

Sup­port un­der Part VI of the Im­mi­gra­tion and Asy­lum Act 1999.

The guar­an­teed el­e­ment of Pen­sion Credit.

Child Tax Credit. if

Job­seeker’s

Work­ing Tax Credit run-on. Uni­ver­sal Tax Credit. In­for­ma­tion about the el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria can be found at www.lan­cashire.gov.uk/chil­dren-ed­u­ca­tion-fam­i­lies/ schools/free-school-meals/

Cllr Phillippa Wil­liamson wel­comed the ex­ten­sion to the free meals ser­vice

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