Thousands of schoolchildren in Nottinghamshire will once again benefit from free school meals during the forthcoming February half-term.
More than 25,000 eligible youngsters across the county will receive 125,000 meal vouchers as part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s ongoing commitment to helping low-income households.
The scheme is funded through the Household Support Fund (HSF), which was launched in November, and up to £2.3 million has already been allocated to provide vouchers to vulnerable children during school holidays until the end of March.
Vouchers given out to those families who are eligible have been doubled in value to £30-per-week, which will include £15 to be used for food for the child and an additional £15 to help families meet winter cost-of-living increases such as heating costs.
Parents in Nottinghamshire can find out if their child is eligible for free school meals here www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals, with the vouchers distributed to youngsters by their schools.
Councillor Tracey Taylor, chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, said the council is committed to helping youngsters from families who are struggling with cost-of-living pressures.
She said: “I am pleased that children in Nottinghamshire will once again receive help at a time when many families continue to be confronted by financial challenges and, I hope, this will be one less thing for them to worry about.
“I’m also delighted we’ve been able to increase the value of the vouchers which will be distributed during the forthcoming school holiday.
“Once more, despite our own budget pressures, this reaffirms our commitment of providing help and support to hundreds of families across Nottinghamshire when they need it most, which is good news and means many youngsters will not go hungry this half-term.”
Councillor John Cottee, chairman of the Communities Committee which oversees the HSF, said he was pleased funding had been set aside to help families in Nottinghamshire.
He said: “The pandemic has led to some families struggling financially and, therefore, I am really pleased money from the Household Support Fund will once again help to support vulnerable children who might otherwise run the risk of missing out on receiving the food they need.
“It goes without saying that we remain committed to supporting children and families in Nottinghamshire at this time.”
For further information, parents or carers are urged to contact their school directly.