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Huge response confirms need for Sefton Council’s free school meals scheme

On the second day of the scheme, Sefton Council is already dealing with thousands of applications for its October half term free school meals vouchers.

Sefton Council announced it would be running the scheme following Government’s decision not to provide free school meals during the current holiday. It has teamed up with ASDA to provide vouchers that families who qualify for free school meals can use to buy food.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “The response to our scheme has been huge and shows exactly why Sefton Council needed to step in swiftly and set up this scheme in partnership with ASDA.

“We have had thousands of applications already and are now working hard to process them as quickly as possible.”

Cllr Hardy has thanked Sefton’s local businesses and voluntary organisations who are providing packed lunches, food hampers and meals to local families.

“They are proving that together we are a Stronger community,” she said.

Details of the half term school meals scheme can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/half-term-meals.

Families who qualify for free school meals but don’t have Internet access can get printed vouchers from the Borough’s Family Wellbeing Centres. And those families who do not currently receive free school meals can visit www.sefton.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals to find out if they are eligible and how to apply.

Cllr Hardy added: “Free school meals have been shown to improve health and help tackle health inequalities, as well as removing the poverty trap faced by parents trying to move into employment. That is why, with so many families being affected by coronavirus and the Government’s Tier 3 COVID restrictions, it was vital for the Council to set up this local scheme.