Sefton Council to provide voucher scheme for families eligible for free school meals this half-term holiday
Sefton Council will, once again, be providing vital ‘much-needed’ school holiday meal vouchers to eligible local families during next week’s half-term holiday.
The Council is using its Household Support Grant funding allocation from the Department of Work and Pensions to provide this invaluable service.
Like during previous holidays, families eligible for free school meals are being given supermarket vouchers that can be used to purchase food. Worth £15 per week per for each child, the vouchers are valid to buy food in-store and online at local supermarkets. They cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, phone top ups or stamps.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:
“During the COIVID-19 pandemic the Council has seen a significant rise in eligibility for free school meals so providing these vouchers though the school holiday is vital.
“This is particularly the case when many families are facing the fallout from the Government’s recent £20 per week cut in Universal Credit payments, rising household fuel costs and rising prices in the shops.”
Sefton Council provided similar voucher schemes since last year’s October half-term holiday and intends providing similar cover over this year’s Christmas holiday and the February half term and Easter holidays in 2022.
Additionally, over 5,000 meals, in the form of takeaway packed lunches, were prepared and distributed as part of a similar scheme during the schools summer break.
Cllr Hardy added:
“Families across Sefton who do not currently receive free school meals but think they might be eligible can visit www.sefton.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals to find out whether they qualify and how to apply.
“Our website also contains information for people on Universal Credit, benefits and a range of related topics including help with rent and Council Tax and the Borough’s Foodbank Network at www.sefton.gov.uk/advice-benefits”.