Food and activity vouchers for pupils on free school meals
Food vouchers will once again be provided over the Easter holidays by KCC for families whose children are entitled to benefits-related Free School Meals.
One £30 food voucher, to be used in supermarkets and some local shops, will be provided to each eligible child or young person via their school or college.
KCC is funding the vouchers from part of its allocation from the Government’s Household Support Fund, which was launched in September to help local authorities support some of their most vulnerable households during the winter.
Each week of vouchers amounts to a value in Kent of about £800,000.
At the same time, KCC has confirmed that a free Holiday Activities and Food programme for children eligible for free school meals will also be provided during the Easter break, funded by the Department for Education.
Each child is entitled to one week of up to 16 hours for the activities. More than, 6,000 places are available at more than 100 projects across Kent.
Eligible families will receive a HAF programme voucher via their school and can use this to find a local project and contact the provider for a place. The voucher will demonstrate eligibility for a free place.
Offers available range from cookery-based activities, through fitness and sports-based clubs, to some focusing on outdoor learning.
Shellina Prendergast, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “I am pleased that we are able to continue providing this support for some of Kent’s most vulnerable families.
“School holidays can be a difficult time for families with limited resources facing the extra challenge and cost of providing more meals for their children and organising activities for them while they are at home, so these vouchers will help to ease the pressure on parents and carers in this position.”
Mrs Prendergast urged all parents and carers who feel their children may be entitled to receive benefits-related Free School Meals, but who have not yet applied for them, to visit the website – https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/schools/free-school-meals – as soon as possible so that no one misses out on this scheme.
Schools will allocate the vouchers to their pupils, as they have done during previous holiday periods, so parents and carers should direct any enquiries to their child’s school.
For further information contact Murray Evans at Kent County Council Press Office on 03000 416071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org